The Red Sox have inquired about injured Nationals outfielder Kyle Schwarber, according to a big-league source, but they face competition for his services from AL East rivals the Yankees and Blue Jays.
The former Cubs standout would add left-handed thump to the Red Sox lineup, but the 28-year-old has been sidelined since suffering a serious hamstring strain on July 2.
He was in the midst of a breakout campaign after the Nationals hit on the one-year, $10 million deal he inked in January that includes a mutual $11.5 million option for 2022.
Schwarber slammed 25 homers and drove in 53 runs over his first 72 games. At the time of his injury he was in the midst of a stunning run atop the order, hitting .338 with 16 home runs and a .947 OPS in 21 games at leadoff. Washington went 14-5 in those contests to reach .500 for the first time in two months, but Schwarber's loss effectively doomed its season. The Nats have won just six of 20 games since to become prime sellers before Friday's trade deadline.
Schwarber has spent the majority of his career in left field and has appeared at first base for exactly one play as part of a five-man infield employed by Joe Maddon in an extra-innings loss to the Brewers in 2017. Unless Schwarber plans on learning a new position, then, he wouldn't help the Red Sox at first base.
It's thus unclear where he'd find everyday at-bats, although his left-handed bat could play in an outfield rotation that includes the right-handed Hunter Renfroe, and he could also spell DH J.D. Martinez.
He has resumed running in the outfield and is expected back perhaps as early as mid-August. Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom is already on record that he would consider upgrading areas of the club that don't represent obvious needs, and adding Schwarber's left-handed thunder to the outfield mix would certainly qualify.
The news of Boston's interest was first reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post.