The courtship of Kyle Schwarber continues in earnest.
Schwarber recently declined his mutual option with the Boston Red Sox to become an unrestricted free agent, and several teams reportedly are interested in the veteran slugger. That includes the Red Sox, who remain "engaged" with Schwarber in contract discussions, per Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom.
Schwarber's suitors also include the Nationals, and apparently Washington got some face-to-face time with the 28-year-old Ohio native Thursday.
Dave Martinez was Schwarber's manager in Washington for the first half of 2021 before the Nationals dealt him to the Red Sox at the MLB trade deadline. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said recently he'd love to bring Schwarber back, so the team isn't hiding its interest in the seven-year pro.
The good news for Red Sox fans? Schwarber seemed to enjoy his three months in Boston. Not only did he excel on the field after returning from a hamstring injury -- .291 batting average with seven home runs and a .957 OPS in 41 regular-season games -- he also appeared to embrace the city's rabid fanbase (and his hyper-local nickname).
"I want to be the best teammate I can, I want to be known as a winner. It's definitely a town and city that fits that mold," Schwarber said in late September. "I will definitely be interested if that came back around."
If Schwarber wants to be a "winner," the Red Sox seem like a better option than the Nationals, who finished in the National League East basement last season at 65-97.
Then again, Washington has some intriguing young assets and the ability to rebuild quickly. So, it may come down to which suitor is willing to shell out $15 to $20 million per year for Schwarber's next contract.