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Even though the MLB lockout is still in place, this latest update can hurt the Boston Red Sox’s chances of re-signing Kyle Schwarber.
The MLB lockout is still ongoing with no real end in sight. While there was a mad flurry of signings ahead of the lockout, there are still plenty of players left on the open market. One of them is former Boston Red Sox slugger Kyle Schwarber.
Even with the work stoppage, commissioner Rob Manfred provided some positive news that will help Schwarber in free agency and hurt Boston’s chances of re-signing him. That is because Manfred revealed that the league agreed to have the universal designated hitter position return for the foreseeable future.
Kyle Schwarber contract demands
Schwarber is reportedly looking for a three-year contract worth upwards of $60 million, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (paywall). The outfielder and first baseman declined his $11.5 million option for the 2022 season. That allowed him to hit free agency.
Spotrac projects his market value to be set at $12.9 million annually.
Kyle Schwarber rumors: Which team has the edge?
With no universal DH, that gave the Red Sox the edge in potential negotiations. Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said back in November that they want to try to re-sign Schwarber this offseason back.
Now, with the designated hitter set to return to the National League for the first time since the 2020 season, that only hurts the Red Sox’s chances of bringing the slugger back to the team.
Here are the teams that have reportedly expressed interest in pursuing Schwarber in free agency prior to the lockout:
Did Rob Manfred impact Kyle Schwarber’s free agency?
Manfred’s statement regarding the universal designated hitter is going to drastically improve Schwarber’s market whenever the lockout officially ends. Teams that are in need of a power bat in their lineup are going to be interested in his services. He is coming off a 2021 season where he recorded a career-high .554 slugging percentage.