The Yankees wanted Shohei Otani mostly for his pitching, but they were also willing to let him hit as a DH when he wasn’t on the mound, so his refusal to consider playing in the Bronx raises the question of who will get those at-bats. GM Brian Cashman could plan on dividing them up among his surplus of position players, but here’s a better idea: trade for Kyle Schwarber. Such a notion has been out there going back to the 2016 trade deadline, when the Yankees would have gladly taken Schwarber for Aroldis Chapman, except the Cubs weren’t about to give him up at the time, even though he was sidelined due to knee surgery. But now the time seems right and more realistic for a number of reasons: Above all, Schwarber is no longer off-limits. The Cubs were more than willing to find a position for him when it appeared he was going to be a superstar with the bat, but his defensive shortcomings aren’t nearly as easy to overlook after he hit .211 last season with 150 strikeouts in 129 games. Of course, he still hit 30 home runs, but in this longball era of big-league baseball, that power has been devalued a bit. In addition, the Cubs are also loaded with young position players, and the emergence last season of rookie Ian Happ, a power-hitting switch-hitter who played infield and outfield, allows them more freedom to move Schwarber. At this point, in fact, they may see him as a one-dimensional player who doesn’t really have a position, since the Cubs have given up on the idea that he can catch in the big leagues. But obviously the Yankees don’t need him to play defense. And Schwarber at age 24 is still considered a dynamic hitter whose problems last year likely were related at least partly to missing nearly the entire 2016 season. As it was, he put together a solid second half, hitting .253 with 17 home runs and an .894 OPS.
Yankees would be wise to acquire Kyle Schwarber to fill DH role after missing out on Shohei Otani
New York Daily News | Dec 6