CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs decided to not offer 2021 contracts to Kyle Schwarber and Albert Almora.
Faced with a 7 p.m. non-tender deadline Wednesday and coming off a season hampered by the virus, Jed Hoyer and company have decided to move on from the former no. 4 overall pick. He was arbitration eligible and estimated to make around $8 million in 2021.
Schwarber, who batted .188 in a short 60-game season, has been a fan favorite since being called up in 2015. In April of 2016, he collided with Dexter Fowler in Arizona and tore his ACL.
Miraculously, Schwarber was able to return in the World Series, hitting .412. Despite all his home runs, his biggest contribution was getting a single to start the game-winning top of the 10th in Game 7.
The man who pinch ran for him, and had arguably one of the most “heads up” tag-ups in baseball history, Albert Almora, was also not tendered a contract. The first draft pick of the Epstein era was never able to turn a corner offensively, but had several “web gems” over the years.
Schwarber, who had a career .816 OPS with Chicago, is likely to get attention from American League teams who may try to fill a DH hole. Despite his worst offensive season in 2020, Schwarber hit 38 home runs and 92 RBIs in 2019.
As expected, the Cubs tendered 2021 contracts to five arbitration-eligible players; Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Ian Happ, Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini.
It’s highly speculated that the Cubs will move on from at least one big member of the core, with Bryant getting most of the attention. The former MVP has recently been linked to the Nationals.
The Cubs agreed to terms and avoided arbitration with pitchers Colin Rea, Dan Winkler and Kyle Ryan. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Here’s some of the best moments from Schwarber and Almora over the years.
Schwarber launches ball into Allegheny off Pirates’ Gerrit Cole in 2015 Wild Card game
Collection of amazing catches by Almora
Schwarber hits ball on top of right field scoreboard during Cubs-Cardinals 2015 Division Series
Almora tags up to get into scoring position in Game 7