One of the most common points scouts and pundits leave out when debating whether the Cubs should consider trading coveted young slugger Kyle Schwarber to get the pitcher(s) needed to win the World Series this year involves how the Cubs front office plans to win the World Series.
By getting to the playoffs every year.
And that’s why Schwarber is going nowhere at the trade deadline – no matter how much the Yankees insist they need him to swing a trade for Andrew Miller and/or Aroldis Chapman.
Because no late-inning combination of Miller, Chapman and/or Hector Rondon, even with this Cubs team this year, assures the ability to win three postseason series in October in a sport like this against the likes of Madison Bumgarner, Max Scherzer, Cole Hamels, Bryce Harper, David Ortiz, Savador Perez, Johnny Cueto, Daniel Murphy, Buster Posey and the various playoffs teams for whom those All-Stars toil.
Team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer will point that out as often as anyone asks them.
“I think [everyone] knows how we feel about Kyle, and I think he knows how we feel about him,” Hoyer said. “We all miss being able to write his name in the lineup every day and seeing that kind of left-handed power bat, and we look forward to seeing that again next year.”
Barely two weeks ago, Epstein attempted to quash New York-based speculation when he sat in the CitiField dugout and said he expected to see Schwarber return from a season-ending knee injury to start hitting home runs next April, in a Cubs uniform.
“No question. That’s how we feel about it,” Hoyer said. “Listen, we’ve said you can’t have untouchables; you have to be willing to explore bold ideas. That said, we really like our core, and that’s something that we plan to build around.”
Schwarber, who has a third post-surgery checkup with his surgeon in Dallas in early August, remains a constant in pitcher/catcher planning meetings, helps to break down opposing hitters and keeps building relationships in the clubhouse as a rehabbing second-year major-leaguer.
“Physically I can’t help them, but if I can help them in any other way possible, I’m going to try to do that,” said Schwarber, who hasn’t talked directly about his status with team officials and said he’s not concerning himself with what he can’t control.
“I’m sure they don’t want to get too connected with someone or whatever,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes to have to trade a player. I love all these guys here and I want them all to stay, and I couldn’t imagine being in that position.
“I’m a Cub right now, until I’m told I’m not a Cub,” he said. “I love this city; I love this team; I love the fans; I love everything about being a Cub. At the end of the day, though, it’s the business of baseball. And anything can happen.”