Add Alex Cora to the choir calling for a return to Boston for Kyle Schwarber.
The Red Sox manager, appearing on WEEI’s Merloni and Fauria on Wednesday, explained how the outfielder-turned-first-baseman fit into the team’s success upon his arrival at the trade deadline, and said he envisioned him doing the same in a full season with the group.
“I believe we could make Schwarber fit for a full season,” he said, as transcribed by Red Sox Stats on Twitter. “Gives us balance. Without him we love to swing the bat and sometimes chase a lot of pitches.
“When he got here the conversations in the meetings were loud and clear: let’s dominate the strike zone. It took us a while, but towards the end we were doing an amazing job. He’s an (on-base percentage) machine. I believe he was a little banged up at the end of the year. You need versatility and a lot of good players to get to October and he’s a great player.”
Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom shared a similar sentiment when speaking to reporters at general manager meetings Tuesday. In an end-of-season press conference Sunday, Bloom said the team planned to “stay engaged” with Schwarber, who declined his mutual option for the 2022 season and entered free agency.
The 28-year-old is projected to sign a deal for between $60 million and $80 million for four to five years. Through 41 games with the Red Sox, he slashed .291/.435/.522 — a career-high on-base percentage — with seven home runs, 18 RBIs.