All day on Thursday, one day ahead of this year’s trade deadline, Red Sox fans have been watching other contenders around the league make deals to improve their club, all while Boston has waited back and done nothing. That wait is over, and while it’s not the kind of huge blockbuster we’ve seen in other deals around the league, it does address their suddenly quiet offense. According to a report from Robert Murray, the Red Sox have traded for Nationals left-handed power hitter Kyle Schwarber.
The Boston Red Sox are in agreement on a deal to acquire Kyle Schwarber from the Washington Nationals, according to sources familiar with the situation.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) July 30, 2021
It looks like pitching prospect Aldo Ramirez will be going back to Washington in the deal.
Hearing the return for Kyle Schwarber is right-handed pitcher Aldo Ramirez.— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) July 30, 2021
Schwarber is actually on the injured list at the moment with a hamstring issue, but it’s not expected to be a long-term thing and he should be in Boston’s lineup within the next week or two to add some left-handed power. How long exactly he is out will have a big impact on how we look at this deal ultimately, as he will almost certainly be a free agent after this season with a mutual option on the books for 2022.
But right before being injured, Schwarber was one of the biggest stories in all of baseball. The slugger was an absolute home run machine, hitting 16 over an 18-game span at one point in June. On the season, Schwarber is hitting .253/.340/.570 for a 138 wRC+. Prior to this season he had spent his whole career with the Cubs, and has a career 116 wRC+. Schwarber is particularly lethal against righties, with a career 126 wRC+ against them compared to an 81 wRC+ against lefties.
He’s never quite found a home defensively, and while he’s never actually played first base in a major-league game — as far as I can tell the last time he did it was in the Cape Cod League — that seems like the most likely spot he can find playing time with the Red Sox right now.
As for the return, the Red Sox have seen their pitching prospect pool improve the last couple of years, allowing them to feel good about giving up a guy in Ramirez who was one of their best at the lower levels. Before suffering an injury of his own earlier this year, Ramirez had pitched to a 2.03 ERA over 31 innings with 32 strikeouts and eight walks. He’s currently in his age-20 season and was ranked eighth in the organization by Sox Prospects.
We’ll have many more thoughts on this deal on Friday, but for now we can rest easy knowing the Red Sox have done something.
Update (11:21 PM)
The Red Sox have made the deal official. Brandon Workman was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man.