MLB Free Agency: Phillies agree to negotiate with Kyle Schwarber, reportedly for four years

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The Philadelphia Phillies have agreed a deal with free-agent outfielder Kyle Schwarber, confirmed CBS Sports HQ’s Jim Bowden. Schwarber was previously linked with the Toronto Blue Jays and the Colorado Rockies, among others. Schwarber’s pact is expected to last four years and be worth just under $20 million on average annually, according to The Athletic’s Jayson Stark.

Schwarber, 29, parted ways with the Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox last season. He hit .266/.374/.554 (148 OPS+) with 32 homers. His play was such that he earned his first All-Star Game appearance of his career and, according to Baseball Reference‘s calculations, amassed a personal best of 3.1 wins over substitutes.

Schwarber entered the offseason ranked 26th best free agent by CBS Sports. We wrote the following at the time:

Schwarber will certainly forego his reciprocal option to go back to the open market. Unlike last winter when he wasn’t tendered by the Cubs, he’s entering the open market after a fantastic season. He split the year between DC and Boston, batting .266/.374/.554 with 32 homers. Schwarber’s offensive play is still geared towards hard hitting and walking, and not much has changed about that. Defensively, he made his first nine career starts at first base. It went about as you would expect, with Schwaber appearing so inexperienced that he sometimes posed a threat to himself with his footwork. (On other, less worrisome occasions, he resembled a bear trying to catch a leaping trout.) Schwarber should improve in the cold corner with a full offseason and spring training. Let’s face it: nobody signs him because of his glove anyway.

The Phillies had been looking for field service help. Schwarber could split time between left field and designated hitter depending on who else Philadelphia adds for the rest of the winter. It’s been a busy week for Philadelphia, as Dave Dombrowski and Sam Fuld have also signed outfielder Odúbel Herrera and relievers Brad Hand and Jeurys Familia since the end of Major League Baseball‘s owner-imposed lockout.

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