Kyle Schwarber reveals how close he came to staying in Boston instead of signing with Phillies
Did the Philadelphia Phillies almost lose out on Kyle Schwarber this spring?
Not according to the man himself.
Linked to the Phillies almost as soon as they hired his favorite hitting coach Kevin Long in November, they inked him to a four-year deal after the lockout ended in mid-March.
So, how long were the Boston Red Sox in the mix? Speaking to Boston media members at the All-Star Game, Schwarber discussed his offseason suitors, including the Sox:
"“There was some conversation, but it didn’t go much after the lockout. I enjoyed my time in Boston. I loved it, had a great time. Now, being in Philly, it’s an A-plus organization, and I love the team we’ve got.”"
The Sox acquired Schwarber from the Washington Nationals at last summer’s trade deadline, and he went on to become an integral part of their team. Together, they finished the season 92-70, far exceeding everyone’s expectations for the team, which most experts picked to finish fourth in their division and win around 79 games. Instead, they made it to the ALCS.
With his on-field contributions and immense popularity on the team and with the fans, the assumption was that the Red Sox would at least make some sort of effort to bring him back when he reached free agency after the season. Schwarber didn’t make it sound like they pushed too hard.
Conversely, the Phillies were in touch with Schwarber and in heavy pursuit before and after the lockout. Their doggedness paid off; the slugger leads all National League hitters with 29 home runs and just appeared in his second consecutive All-Star Game. The Phillies entered the All-Star break tied for the third NL Wild Card without Bryce Harper and Jean Segura, in large part because Schwarber’s stepped up.
He may just lead them to a postseason run of their own.