Kyle Schwarber does not fit the needs of the Angels at all.
It wasn’t too long when Cubs fans were cheering on Kyle Schwarber during the 2016 World Series and he was a huge contributor for the team as he slashed .412/.500/.971 with 7 hits and 2 RBIs. The Angels have reportedly shown interest in the outfielder and it’s hard to see why.
However, that was three years ago and times have certainly changed for the Cubs and for Schwarber, who was non-tendered by the Cubs thus making him a free agent. In 2020, Schwarber put up abysmal numbers as he went on to slash .188/.308/.701 with only 36 hits and 11 home runs in a 60 game season. In addition to his poor offense, his fielding is what also gave him the boot out of Chicago as he finished with -3 defensive runs saved which is well below the average for a player at his position.
With numbers he put up during the 2020 season, it’s no wonder why Schwarber was let go and why the Cubs were looking to the future of their current stars like Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Baez.
The Angels shouldn’t even be going anywhere near Schwarber even if the lineup could use a left-handed bat as the team could be looking at other options that could do more damage both from a offensive standpoint and defensively.
It also doesn’t make sense from a needs standpoint as the outfield is already crowded as it is with Justin Upton in left, Mike Trout in center, and Jo Adell in right for the time being with Taylor Ward being the backup to Upton and Adell. The only way it would work is if the team is gearing up to make room for Schwarber via a trade of either Upton or Adell, Adell being the more logical choice due to his young talent and Upton’s contract.
Even if the Angels were to trade Adell for pitching, which the team desperately needs, it still wouldn’t make sense as Schwarber can’t man right field and it would only mean that the team would be done with Ohtani pitching and place him in right and go full time hitting. This would clear some room for Schwarber to be the Designated Hitter and share time with Albert Pujols at the position.
If the Angels were to be bold and trade Adell for pitching and have Ohtani play right field, then they should be going after someone that’s better suited for the situation. Michael Brantley is a free agent and would be a far better choice than Schwarber as Brantley slashed .300/.364/.840 and can play better defensively as he has 5 defensive runs saved which is above average. Brantley would also provide a left handed bat the Angels could plug into their lineup as the only left handed hitters right now are Jared Walsh and Shohei Ohtani.
Unless the team was really tight on cash, which shouldn’t be the case given Angels owner Arte Moreno stated that payroll wouldn’t be going down, then Schwarber should be given a look at for the team. Schwarber has connections with Angels manager Joe Maddon from their time with the Cubs, however, as said before, things are a lot different now for both of them and this is a reunion that doesn’t need to happen.