10 Under the Radar Trade Targets for Mariners: 5-1
3. Kyle Schwarber, OF Chicago Cubs
The Cubs are bizarrely looking to shed some payroll this winter and while Kris Bryant is the big name being floated, trading Kyle Schwarber and his projected $8 million salaries could make sense for the Cubs. So too could the Mariners acquiring him.
A few obvious holes in this balloon may stop it from getting off the ground so let’s address them. First, Schwarber is a true left fielder and the Mariners are loaded with corner outfielders. The second is Schwarber will be departing after the 2021 season, meaning he likely won’t be around when the team is expected to start winning 90 games on a consistent basis.
These two hurdles do limit the likelihood of this happening but 2 things should be remembered. First, Schwarber isn’t just an outfield only bat. He plays a decent left field and would be an upgrade over the likes of Domingo Santana (who wouldn’t).
Second, Schwarber is just 27-years-old and is a good, above-average, everyday player. Perhaps a move to first base is possible, or Schwarber straight up wins the left-field job for the next two years. Or heck, maybe the Mariners finally use the DH as most teams do, a rotation designed to get certain players half days off and get your matchup advantages in the lineup without sacrificing defense.
Schwarber is coming off a solid 2019 that saw him play in 155 games, hit .250/.339/.531, and slugged 38 home runs. This led to a 120 wRC+ and a solid 2.6 fWAR. He struggled a bit defensively, which hurt his value a bit.
But Schwarber knows his strike zone and fits the “control the zone” mantra of the Mariners well. Seattle isn’t in a position to scoff at adding talent, particularly talent who may just be entering their prime.
Schwarber would surely cost a nice little package but anything involving a player from inside the Top 8 or so prospects likely won’t be required. Only time will tell if the Cubs actually do dump salary, but if Schwarber’s name comes up in talks, the Mariners should be interested.