Kyle Schwarber has been an absolute powerhouse in the month of June. Now with 16 home runs, he is doing things that have rarely been seen in baseball history. He has now broken the Nationals’ record for most homers in a single month, previously held by Bryce Harper, and still has Tuesday’s game to complete and one last June game Wednesday.
Schwarber, signed to hit for power, has come alive, and with the Nationals on a hot streak, it is time to discuss signing him long term, before he even makes it to the open market and his price will be significantly greater.
At 28 years old, Schwarber is not old at all and won’t be 29 until March of 2022. This year, he was signed to a one-year, $10 million deal, and with his recent surge, it may not be unreasonable for him to command up to $50-60 million if given a multi-year deal.
Say he is signed for four years. That would give the Nationals a solid player in left field until he turns 32. Also, we have to take into consideration that the DH is most likely going to be coming to the National League very soon. If his athleticism declines, there is a built-in spot for him to just hit baseballs night in and night out.
Another point for the Nationals to sign him to a long term deal: they’re pretty shallow in the outfield, as they do not have any up-and-coming prospects that can be called up to the Majors over the next few years.
Defensively, Schwarber has been as expected or better. We knew coming into this year that he was not known for his defense, but only has three errors on the season. He has shown an ability to throw the ball in when trying to throw opponents out at third or home.
Schwarber has a fielding percentage of .977, which is above average for all the Nationals’ everyday players. His Defensive Runs Saved is -3 on the year, which is slightly below average (fangraphs.com shows 0 as average and -5 as below average).
Schwarber regaining his best form is good news for all Nationals fans, for 2021 and possibly beyond. If the Nationals continue to win, there aren’t many reasons for the team to not at least look at extending him for three or four years. This is a guy who has career highs in average, OBP, SLG%, and OPS in his seventh season, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that he can’t stop hitting home runs.