As the Boston Red Sox begin their offseason, just days after losing to the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series, one of the first matters of business on Chaim Bloom's agenda is figuring out what to do with Kyle Schwarber.
After being non-tendered by the Chicago Cubs last winter, Schwarber signed a one-year pact with the Washington Nationals that included a mutual option for 2022. Schwarber is all but certain to decline his part of that option, allowing him to re-enter free agency after having put a better foot forward. That doesn't mean his days in Boston are over, however, as he appears open-minded about signing on for at least another season.
"It'd be pretty stupid not to think about [returning]," Schwarber told Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. "My team here has been unbelievable. … If they feel like they would like to talk about [a new deal], I'd be all ears. I just think it would be stupid to 'X' someone off for no reason. Especially for a place like this, I'd be all ears."
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Schwarber, 28, arrived in Boston in a deadline trade with the Nationals. In 41 games with the Red Sox, he hit .291/.435/.522 (154 OPS+) with seven home runs while seeing his first extended action at first base. His hot-hitting in Boston ran his seasonal totals to .266/.374/.554 (148 OPS+) and 32 home runs.
Of course, the Red Sox have some other business to resolve that could help clarify where Schwarber would fit onto their 2022 roster. Designated hitter J.D. Martinez has the ability to opt out on the year remaining on his contract. If Martinez does elect for free agency, the Red Sox could view Schwarber as a natural replacement.
Whatever Boston decides to do (or not to do) with Schwarber, it's clear that he won't have to settle for another one-year deal.