Red Sox

‘He fits us’: Red Sox reportedly will try to re-sign Kyle Schwarber

Schwarber batted .291 for the Red Sox this season.

Kyle Schwarber
Kyle Schwarber of the Red Sox celebrates his home run with Christian Arroyo during Game Three of the American League Championship Series. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Red Sox will try to bring free-agent slugger Kyle Schwarber back, according to Chaim Bloom.

“He fits us,” Bloom told MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

Schwarber had a very successful contract year and likely will not be cheap. Before suffering a hamstring injury with the Nationals, Schwarber was the hottest hitter in baseball — ripping 12 homers in 10 games from June 19-29 and 16 homers total in the month of June. When he returned, he had been traded to the Red Sox where he batted .291/.435/.522 splits with seven homers and 18 RBIs.

Schwarber’s hitting was impressive under a microscope as well. He batted .307 on fastballs. His average exit velocity of 92.3 mph was in the 90th percentile of the league, according to Baseball Savant, and 52.2 percent of his hits were classified as “hard hits” (93rd percentile).

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Schwarber’s biggest contribution, however, may have been his patience. Schwarber was walked on 13.6 percent of his at-bats, which put him in the 94th percentile of the MLB.

“I love the fact that he doesn’t expand [the strike zone],” Cora told Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe in August. “Whenever he struggles, he’s going to get on base. He’ll take his walks.

“That’s something he’s been talking about for a while with the group. Hopefully that’s something they can see, learn and do.”

Two months later, Cora could see the difference.

“We were very aggressive the whole season,” Cora told the New York Times in October. “We were expanding. We didn’t walk too much, and when he got here and he started playing, it was different. It’s a different at-bat and other guys have followed his lead. And right now, this is the best I’ve seen this team this season, offensively.”

ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel wrote that a four-year deal worth $65 million could be seen as a “high-water mark” for Schwarber. Presumably, in that scenario, the Red Sox would continue to use Schwarber as an outfield/first-base hybrid. They could then transition him to DH after J.D. Martinez’s deal runs out in 2022.

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Schwarber expressed interest in returning to Boston just minutes after the Red Sox were eliminated by the Astros.

“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.

“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.”

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