MLB news: Phillies sign Kyle Schwarber

Kyle Schwarber Phillies
Kyle Schwarber
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies have come to terms on a deal with free-agent slugger Kyle Schwarber, as first reported to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury on Wednesday.

Per MLB insider Jon Heyman, the deal is worth $72 million over four years.

Schwarber provides another big bat in a Phillies lineup that already boasts reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper and first baseman, Rhys Hoskins — who is recovering from surgery to repair an abdominal tear. By picking up the left-hander, Philadelphia now has another option DH in place to swap off with Hoskins and catcher JT Realmuto.

The 29-year-old continued to put up big power numbers last season with the Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox, hitting 32 home runs while posting a career-best .928 OPS in just 113 games. Had he not injured his hamstring that kept him out over six weeks, he would have flirted with 45 home runs.

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In MLB’s previous full season in 2019, Schwarber smacked a career-high 38 home runs in the twilight of his six-year stay with the Chicago Cubs. After hitting free agency after the 2020 season, he caught on with the Nationals where he hit 25 of his 32 home runs in 2021.

Over the last five seasons, Schwarber has posted a 162-game average of 37 home runs and 84 RBI — though injuries have seen him play in 140 games or more just once during that stretch. The Phillies’ ability to put him at the DH spot thanks to the rule changes that came with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement will allow the team to preserve him from playing out in the field, where he was a below-average left fielder — though he provides a significant upgrade at the position compared to Matt Vierling, who is currently listed as the starter.