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Report: Red Sox showing interest in Kyle Schwarber

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Giancarlo Stanton‘s trade to the Yankees on Saturday, while still unofficial as of Sunday morning, sent ripple effects through the rest of the league. Those who didn’t manage to trade for the Marlins’ slugger (or two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani, for that matter) appear to be kicking the tires on every other viable player, as is the nature of the Hot Stove season. Scott Lauber of ESPN Boston reports that the Red Sox have expressed interest in Cubs’ outfielder Kyle Schwarber, whom they envision as a strong asset at DH.

Schwarber, 24, completed his third run with the Cubs in 2017. After missing all but two games of the 2016 season while recovering from knee surgery, he bounced back with a .211/.355/.487 batting line and a career-best 30 home runs and .256 ISO in 486 plate appearances. While he has yet to return to the .293-BABIP, 1.8-fWAR ways of his rookie campaign, Lauber notes that Schwarber remains a favorite of club president Theo Epstein, which presumably makes any trade a difficult one.

The Red Sox don’t appear to have made a formal offer for Schwarber, and it’s not yet clear whether the Cubs would even listen to a trade proposition involving their former top-5 prospect. MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat offers this insight from Epstein:

[Schwarber] has got certain toughness and leadership qualities that are hard to find that we don’t necessarily have in surplus and in abundance in the clubhouse,” Epstein said. “He has a certain energy and grit and ability to bring people together, and that’s important. The biggest thing is his bat. We think he’s the type of offensive player who you build around along with a couple other guys.

Assuming the Cubs would ask for a substantial return for the outfielder/backup catcher, the Red Sox may not have much to offer in a deal. Per Lauber’s report, Boston depleted most of their farm system depth to get big names like Chris Sale, Craig Kimbrel and others, and may not have enough left in the tank to convince the already-reluctant Cubs to part with one of their favorite players.

Marcus Stroman: Blue Jays are “f– terrible”

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Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman strugged in Sunday afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, yielding four runs (three earned) over five innings. He fell to 2-7 with a 5.86 ERA. The Jays dropped three of four games to the Sox in the series and now sit with a 43-52 record heading into the All-Star break.

Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun reports that while Stroman was initially cool, calm, and collected when speaking to the media after the game, he eventually snapped. Stroman was asked by a reporter about breaking into professional baseball with short-season Single-A Vancouver in 2012. Stroman yelled at the reporter, noting that his team had just lost to the Red Sox, and called his team “f– terrible.” Keegan Matheson’s account of the situation lines up with Buffery’s as well.

Prior to the outburst, Stroman had just praised his teammates, saying, “My team picks me up a ton. They pick me up all year. I should be able to pitch better in times like that when my team doesn’t have my back. Because they’ve had my back a ton of times. So, love my guys on my team and like I said, I would go to war with them any day.”

Stroman will have off until Friday, so hopefully the time off helps him clear his mind. It has understandably been a frustrating season in Toronto.