Jeff Passan has something that makes no sense to me:
The presumed reason why Prince Fielder and Doug Fister were traded was so the Tigers could afford extensions for Max Scherzer. At the very least the Fister trade was based on the assumption that the Tigers’ pitching staff was strong enough to weather his absence. Because, hey, you got Mac Scherzer there.
Not that trading Scherzer while he’s at his most valuable is a bad move in a vacuum. He’s unlikely to ever be as good as he was in 2013 again and he is going to get expensive.
But if you’re thinking of trading him, why lose Fister first? That just seems nutty to me.
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.