The Red Sox have acquired left fielder Kyle Schwarber from the Washington Nationals, in exchange for pitching prospect Aldo Ramirez the club announced Thursday night.
In order create room on their 40-man roster for the addition of Schwarber, the Red Sox designated reliever Brandon Workman for assignment.
Schwarber, 28, has been on the 10-day injured list with a right hamstring strain since July 3 after suffering the injury while rounding first base in a game against the Dodgers on July 2.
Prior to being placed on the IL, the left-handed hitter was in the midst of perhaps his best season in the big-leagues after earning his first All-Star team selection earlier this month.
Over 72 games with the Nationals to begin the 2021 campaign, Schwarber slashed a solid .253/.340/.570 (138 wRC+) to go along with nine doubles, 25 home runs, 53 RBI, 42 runs scored, one stolen base, 31 walks, and 88 strikeouts in 303 total trips to the plate. He hit 16 homers in 27 games in the month of June alone.
A former first-round pick of the Cubs back in 2014 out of Indiana University, the Ohio native spent the first seven years of his professional career and six years of his major-league career with Chicago before hitting free agency and signing a one-year, $10 million deal with the Nats back in Janurary.
Known for his slugging abilities (146 career homers), Schwarber — listed at a stout 6-foot-2 and 229 pounds — will look to provide a Red Sox offense that has stumbled a bit since the All-Star break with a power-hitting boost from the left side of the plate.
Drafted as a catcher out of Indiana, Schwarber has not appeared in a game behind the plate since 2019, and he only did that one time. Over the last two seasons between Chicago and Washington, all of his playing time has come at either left field or designated hitter.
That said, it seems as though the Red Sox could try Schwarber out at first base — a position he played one time in 2017 — if the occasion arises.
According to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, “the Red Sox are open to see how he can handle the position. He’s also expected to see playing time in the outfield and at designated hitter.”
Ramirez, meanwhile, goes to the Nationals in return for Schwarber.
Originally acquired by the Red Sox from Aguascalientes of the Mexican League for $550,000 in April 2018, Ramirez was regarded by Baseball America as the No. 25 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking 11th among pitchers in the organization.
The 20-year-old right-hander opened the 2021 minor-league season with Low-A Salem and posted a 2.03 ERA and 3.04 FIP to go along with 32 strikeouts and eight walks over eight starts spanning 31 innings of work, though he has not pitched in a game in well over a month after being placed on the injured list due to elbow tendinitis on June 27.
For the Red Sox, parting ways with a prospect of Ramirez’s caliber for an injured player such as Schwarber certainly comes with its risks.
With that being said, however, Schwarber — who is owed approximately $2.33 million for the remainder of this season and has an $11.5 million mutual option (or $3 million buyout) for 2022 — does come with a potential extra year of team control.
According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Schwarber is expected to return from his hamstring strain within the next few weeks.
Cotillo also notes that the Red Sox will place Schwarber on the 10-day injured list ahead of Friday’s series opener against the Rays and likely activate reliever Hirokazu Sawamura in his place.
(Picture of Kyle Schwarber: Will Newton/Getty Images)