Kyle Schwarber Traded to Red Sox from Nationals Ahead of MLB Deadline

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 30, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 02:  Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Washington Nationals takes a swing during a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park on July 2, 2021 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox confirmed Thursday they acquired Kyle Schwarber from the Washington Nationals for minor league pitcher Aldo Ramirez.

The Red Sox also designated Brandon Workman for assignment to open up a spot on their 40-man roster.

Following a disappointing 2020 season, Schwarber earned his first All-Star appearance this season. Through 72 games, he's slugging .570 with 25 home runs, 53 RBI and a 150 OPS-plus, per Baseball Reference.

The Red Sox are 1.5 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays and have an 8.5-game lead on the New York Yankees in the American League East. The front office may have felt pressed to act after both Tampa Bay and New York made moves to strengthen their rosters prior to Friday's MLB trade deadline.

The Rays added Nelson Cruz, while the Yankees went a step further. On Thursday, the Bronx Bombers confirmed the additions of Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo.

Schwarber hasn't played since July 2 after suffering a hamstring strain. When he makes his Red Sox debut, he might be in unfamiliar territory on the diamond.

J.D. Martinez is the everyday designated hitter, and he'd be a defensive downgrade from Alex Verdugo or Hunter Renfroe in one of the two corner outfield spots. Schwarber will serve as a solid platoon option for Renfroe.

For the most part, though, that leaves first base, which is an area Boston could benefit from upgrading. The issue is, the 28-year-old has logged zero innings at first in an MLB game.

All things considered, it's still not a bad deal for the Red Sox.

Jason Mastrodonato @JMastrodonato

If the Red Sox just got an elite left-handed hitter with an extra year of affordable control ($11m) for their 19th-best prospect, hard to complain about that. The question is: how quickly can Kyle Schwarber learn how to play first base?

Ramirez is 1-1 with a 2.03 ERA through eight Single-A appearances in 2021. MLB.com ranks the 20-year-old as the 19th-best prospect in Boston's minor league system and projects his MLB arrival in 2023.

Taking a flier on the right-hander makes sense for the Nationals, who are headed for a rebuild. And giving him up doesn't come at a steep cost for the Sox.