Schwarber and the Cubs reached agreement on a one-year, $3.39 million contract Friday, avoiding arbitration, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Schwarber slimmed down prior to last season and improved his ability to get on base, with his OBP jumping from .315 to .356. He had a small drop in power though, hitting four fewer homers (26) than the previous season despite coming to the plate 24 more times. His defense also graded out positively according to both DRS and UZR for the first time in his career, giving confidence that he can stick in left field for several years, but his continued struggles against lefties will likely keep him confined to a platoon role.
Schwarber is not in the lineup for Tuesday's NL Wild Card Game against the Rockies. Schwarber will take a seat as manager Joe Maddon stacks right-handed hitters against southpaw Kyle Freeland. While the slugger isn't in the starting nine, there's a good chance he appears as a pinch hitter sometime during the latter stages of Tuesday's win-or-go-home contest. He hit .238/.356/.467 with 26 homers in 137 games during the regular season.
Schwarber is not in Saturday's lineup against St. Louis. Schwarber was withheld from the starting nine for a second straight contest as Ian Happ gets a start in left field. Across 135 games this year, Schwarber is hitting .241/.358/.472 with 26 home runs and 61 RBI.
Schwarber is out of the lineup for Friday's game against the Cardinals. Schwarber heads to the bench after starting the last seven games since returning from a sore back. Kris Bryant (wrist) grabs the start in left field while David Bote takes over at third base for the Cubs.
Schwarber went 2-for-2 with two walks, a solo home run and two RBI in Sunday's 6-1 win over the White Sox. The home run is No. 26 of the season for Schwarber, giving him an outside shot at getting to 30 for the second straight year with a big final week. The slugger was replaced defensively in the seventh inning, and the team's inclination to do this in close games limits Schwarber's overall potential. However, the 25-year-old's power output gives him plenty of value in all fantasy formats.