Red Sox

Kyle Schwarber could see himself ‘wanting to stay’ in Boston. Here’s how his contract situation looks

Schwarber could become a free agent this offseason.

Kyle Schwarber
Kyle Schwarber's future in Boston is in question as he could depart in free agency this offseason. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Kyle Schwarber proved to be a valuable pickup for the Red Sox at the trade deadline, but the past two-plus months could be the only games he plays in Boston.

The star slugger could become a free agent this offseason in an interesting way. In January, Schwarber signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Nationals, who traded Schwarber to the Red Sox in July. However, just $7 million of that was Schwarber’s salary for this season while the other $3 million is a guaranteed buy-out for 2022, which the Red Sox are now responsible for.

Schwarber also has an $11 million mutual option in his contract for next season. After hitting 32 homers and 71 RBIs over 113 games with a .266/.374/.554 slash line this season though, it would likely be in Schwarber’s best interest to opt out and hit the free-agent market as the 28-year-old could get a multi-year contract that pays more per year.

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If Schwarber decides to opt out, the Red Sox would have to pay him the $3 million buy-out.

Moments after the Red Sox’ season-ending loss to the Astros on Friday, Schwarber did share a desire to return to Boston.

“I wish I could tell everyone I’m going to (return),” Schwarber said. “I just want to say thank you to the whole group. Being the new guy coming in, it’s not easy, right? The thing is I never played with any one of these guys before. No previous experience. These guys made it so easy on me just to be able to come in. And me being hurt, like, they could all look at me sideways and think why did we trade for a guy that’s hurt, right?”

When the Red Sox acquired Schwarber on July 29, he was still on the injured list due to a hamstring injury, delaying his debut with the Red Sox by two weeks.

Once he joined the Red Sox’ lineup, he immediately became one of their best hitters. Over 41 regular-season games in Boston, Schwarber hit seven homers and knocked in 18 runs with a .291/.435/.522.

Schwarber continued his hot streak for much of the postseason, hitting .313/.389/.500 in the Red Sox’ ALDS win over the Rays and a difference-making grand slam in Game 3 of the ALCS.

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Like the rest of the Red Sox lineup, he faltered in the final three games of the series, going 0-for-12 in Games 4-6 of the ALCS. Even though they fell short this year, Schwarber does see the potential for this team to break through in the future.

“Starting from A.C. (Alex Cora) to the coaching staff to the players, to the front office that they all let me be myself,” Schwarber said. “That’s the biggest thing. You’re coming into a really good situation and you just kind of want to mold right in. You don’t want to be a roadblock or an obstacle. You don’t want to feel like the whole group needs to get to know you. It’s like I just want to kind of mold in and go from there.

“And, I mean, this is definitely a clubhouse that I could see myself wanting to stay in. These guys are amazing. I said this, it’s two World Series teams going at it. This is a World Series clubhouse, and I would love to hopefully see if that opportunity comes back.”

If Schwarber does come back, a few faces around him might not be around him. J.D. Martinez could opt out of the final year of his five-year, $110 million contract, which could free up room for the Red Sox to re-sign Schwarber. It could also free up spots in the lineup that Schwarber is more comfortable with as he could slide into Martinez’s spot as the team’s primary designated hitter as opposed to playing first base, which he didn’t play until joining the Red Sox.

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Eduardo Rodriguez, Adam Ottavino, and Christian Vazquez are some other notable Red Sox players who could become free agents this offseason.

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