Yankees to target Kyle Schwarber in potential deal with Cubs

By Michael Dixon
Mark J. Rebilas, USA Today Sports

With a dominant back-end of the bullpen and little else, the New York Yankees are ideal sellers in this year’s trade market.

As buyers with a deep farm system, the Chicago Cubs are a potential trade partner. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has his ideal target in mind — slugger Kyle Schwarber.

“And now, with Cashman, the New York Yankees’ general manager, controlling the July trade market with his cache of dominant relievers, he gets to covet whomever he pleases,” per Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports. “And atop that list is Schwarber, whose monstrous left-handed swing is made for Yankee Stadium.”

From a baseball perspective, Schwarber should be the Yankees’ target here.

The hulking slugger is ideal for Yankee Stadium’s short right field porch. This is a guy who hit 16 home runs in only 273 at-bats a season ago for the Cubs. If he’s inserted into the middle of New York’s lineup, we could be talking about a 40-50 home run guy for the next decade.

There’s no way that Chicago should give up on a guy like that, right? Not exactly.

First of all, Wrigley Field isn’t quite on par with Yankee Stadium from a hitting standpoint. While the Cubs’ ballpark is generally hitter friendly, it’s more dependent on the wind — especially for lefties.

Obviously that didn’t do much to damage Schwarber’s power last year, and make no mistake, losing him would hurt.

But when we consider the stadium and DH rules, the next decade wouldn’t set up quite as well for Schwarber statistically in Chicago as it would in New York.

Secondly, from both a short-term and long-term perspective, the Cubs can afford to lose Schwarber. This is a franchise loaded with young outfield prospects. It has the pieces in place to make up for Schwarber’s absence.

That doesn’t mean that the Cubs should give away Schwarber for nothing, but the Yankees aren’t offering nothing.

Aroldis Chapman has his issues off the field. But on the field, the guy remains one of baseball’s most-dominant relief pitchers.

In 2016, he’s posted a 2.30 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 40 strikeouts in 27.1 innings. Of course, Chapman is a pending free agent. But as far as rentals go this season, the Cubs couldn’t do better than a dominant reliever that helps shorten games.

The other option would be Andrew Miller, another shut-down reliever. With a 1.34 ERA, 0.72 WHIP and 70 strikeouts in only 40.1 innings, Miller has been a beast for the Yankees. Even better, he’s under contract through the 2018 campaign.

Schwarber should be a difficult person to acquire. But given the star relievers that New York has to offer, Chicago has an ideal trade partner. If the Cubs are going to trade Schwarber anywhere, it should be to the Bronx Bombers.