When Kyle Schwarber signed with the Washington Nationals there were skeptics within Major League Baseball. He strikes out too much. He’s a bad outfielder. He’s not worth the $10M ($7M base, $3M buyout on ’22 option) the Nationals are paying him. We heard most everything.
Now, as Schwarber has been moved to the leadoff spot in the Nationals batting order, the tides are beginning to turn on how Schwarbes is viewed as a potential trade target. MLB.com released a piece, stating players whose stock is on the rise and right smack in the middle of the article is the Nationals left fielder.
Kyle Schwarber’s recent hot streak is getting him some mention on the trade market. Will the Nationals make a move?
Everyone wins when Schwarber hits better. Is he hitting better though? He does have hits in four of his last five games, with four home runs. He has driven in eight runs during that time as well, all from the leadoff spot. In those games his average has ticked up 11 points, sitting at .229. Prior to those five games, he was in a 1-20 funk.
Arguments have been made that baseball is too much of a three true outcome sport. Schwarber fits the mold nicely. He hits home runs (13), he strikes out (68), and he walks (24). He leads the team in the first two categories and is second on the team in the third.
Should the Nationals decide to move on from Schwarber, they should have an easy time finding a taker. Major League rosters are full of players who strike out too much, but hit several home runs to make up for it. Schwarber also comes with a lot of postseason experience and appears to be a fun, easy going personality. He has quickly become a fan favorite in his short time in Washington.
For the benefit of the Nationals (in both the standings and his trade value), Schwarber needs to continue to hit and draw positive attention to his name. It’s no coincidence his recent hot streak is coinciding with the Nationals recent hot streak. As they sit 7.5 games out in the National League East, one wonders if general manager Mike Rizzo is capable of selling. This hasn’t really been his forte since he took over for the Nats.
Regardless, the return on a player in the middle of a hot streak, is going to be better than that of a player who is struggling. As long as Kyle hits, he’s making life better for everyone involved.