Kyle Schwarber, Nationals Agree to Reported 1-Year, $10M Contract

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2021

Chicago Cubs' Kyle Schwarber reacts after hitting a grand slam in the ninth inning during a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. The Cubs won 10-1. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
Aaron Doster/Associated Press

For the first time in his major league career, Kyle Schwarber will be on a different team than the Chicago Cubs.

The Washington Nationals announced Saturday that they agreed to terms with Schwarber on a contract. The New York Post's Joel Sherman reported the one-year deal is worth $10 million.

The Cubs announced Dec. 2 their decision to non-tender the slugger. That made him a free agent after he established himself as a fan favorite and key cog in the core that helped snap the franchise's World Series drought in 2016. Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports Chicago reported the Cubs could still bring Schwarber back.

Washington will hope the 2020 version of Schwarber was a small-sample-size blip because he struggled with a .188/.308/.393, 11 home runs and 24 RBI. He has never hit for a high average, but he was much better in a career year in 2019 with a .250/.339/.531 slash line, 38 home runs and 92 RBI.

Anything close to the 2019 Schwarber would be a significant addition to the Nationals lineup. He also hit a combined 56 home runs during the 2017 and 2018 campaigns and figures to be a key source of power even if his batting average lags.

Schwarber is best known for his efforts during the 2016 Fall Classic, when he came back from a torn ACL and LCL in his left knee suffered that April and slashed .412/.500/.471 in a memorable performance on the game's biggest stage.

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His efforts were a key reason the Cubs ended their 108-year championship drought.

If he also helps Washington win a World Series, this will be one of the most important signings of the offseason.