MLB Insider Jim Bowden thinks that the St. Louis Cardinals will sign Kyle Schwarber, but is a deal really that likely? Probably not.
I am on the record saying that I believe the St. Louis Cardinals should sign Kyle Schwarber. He would fill one of their biggest needs (designated hitter) in a big way and in a season that is arguably their most important in franchise history, there has never been a better time to go all-in.
It’s something that Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak has hesitated to do in the past, considering he’s always valued short- and long-term flexibility. But Jim Bowden of The Athletic agrees with me, believing that the Cardinals should sign Schwarber to a three-year, $54 million contract.
A three-year deal worth $18 million per season is almost a deal the Cardinals have to pursue. There has long been the expectation that Schwarber would command more per year than that, especially with the universal designated hitter being implemented in 2022. Signing him to such a contract would be a steal for St. Louis and would allow them to pursue multiple relievers, though it’s likely it would price them out of Ryan Tepera in addition to Kenley Jansen and Joe Kelly.
Schwarber would provide something that the Cardinals lack: another established left-handed bat. The only true left-handed bats on the team are Tommy Edman and Dylan Carlson (switch-hitter) and adding Schwarber would further balance out the lineup. Besides, can you imagine a lineup with Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Tyler O’Neill and Schwarber? Combine that with Edman, Carlson, Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong, who also has 30-plus homer potential, and it has the makings of a dangerous lineup from 1 through 9.
A deal with Schwarber remains unlikely, however, and the bulk of the Cardinals’ money is going to go toward addressing the pitching staff. The designated hitter position will be filled internally, with Nolan Gorman, Juan Yepez, Lars Nootbaar and occasionally Arenado and Goldschmidt.
But if Schwarber’s price is indeed $18 million per season on a multi-year deal, the Cardinals almost have to change course and go all-in. After all, it could be the difference between winning the World Series or having a repeat of a disappointing 2021 season.