Cubs News: Kyle Schwarber Not Tendered 2021 Contract, Will Become Free Agent

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 3, 2020

Chicago Cubs' Kyle Schwarber rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Chicago White Sox during the second inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

Kyle Schwarber's time with the Chicago Cubs has come to an end.

On Wednesday, the slugger was not tendered a contract for the 2021 campaign. That made him a free agent before he was set to earn approximately $8 million via the arbitration process.

It isn't particularly surprising that the Cubs non-tendered Schwarber even if he will forever be viewed as a franchise icon by fans.

After all, the Ricketts family, who owns the team, has not hesitated to publicly complain about the club's financial picture even though Forbes listed the Cubs as the fourth-most valuable franchise in MLB prior to the 2020 season.

Not bringing Schwarber back will save money, though Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports Chicago reported the Cubs were having conversations about bringing back the left fielder.

Schwarber struggled during the shortened 2020 campaign and slashed .188/.308/.393 with 11 home runs and 24 RBI. Still, there is plenty to like about his game and potential.

For one, he is just 27 years old.

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He also turned heads in 2019 with a .250/.339/.531 slash line, 38 home runs and 92 RBI after drilling a combined 56 home runs during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Even the chance that he could return to the form he displayed in 2019 should in theory be worth $8 million for a major-market team such as Chicago.

Schwarber will also always be remembered fondly by fans for what he did in 2016.

It appeared as if his season was over in April when he tore the ACL and LCL in his left knee. However, he returned for the World Series against the Cleveland Indians to play designated hitter during the Cubs' road games.

All he did was slash .412/.500/.471 and tally three hits in the decisive Game 7, the last of which started the winning rally in the 10th inning. The Cubs snapped their 108-year championship drought and may not have done so without him.

Even if he doesn't return on a new contract, he will forever be seen as a Chicago icon because of that.