Although it remains more likely than not that a non-tender is and was merely a prelude to a departure, it’s not like the Cubs have acquired a new outfielder yet. So, on that basis, if no other, there’s still a chance they could re-up with Kyle Schwarber.
When the non-tender happened, there was optimistic talk of maybe eventually getting back together on a multi-year deal with a lower AAV than Schwarber would’ve received in arbitration. Jed Hoyer said the door for a return was open, of course.
But free agency is free agency. Schwarber, for the first time in his career, has the choice to sign wherever he wants, and wherever wants him. Reunions in these situations are unlikely.
For his part, though, Schwarber has spoken out in The Athletic for the first time since his non-tender, saying all the nice things:
Yes, Kyle Schwarber still has interest in returning to the Cubs, telling @ctrent: “It’s the team that drafted me and I grew up with. I won a World Series. I love those guys. It’s Chicago. You love that. You just want to keep all doors open.” https://t.co/MwmlZDSGmx
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) December 17, 2020
Schwarber also acknowledges that he’s ready for a “new opportunity,” should that be how things play out.
You have to figure the market for Schwarber could play out very slowly until the DH decision is finalized, not necessarily because he is solely a DH, but because the ability to DH him in the National League could increase the interest and/or the dollar figure on an offer. So both Schwarber and teams may be incentivized to wait a bit. He was projected to get around $8 to $10 million in arbitration for 2021, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him ultimately sign a one-year deal in that same range.