PHILADELPHIA – Kyle Schwarber is coming to Philadelphia, agreeing Wednesday to a four-year deal with the Phillies worth about $80 million, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement was subject to a successful physical.
A 29-year-old slugging outfielder, Schwarber split last season with Washington and Boston. He agreed to a $10 million, one-year contract with Washington last January that included a $7 million salary and an $11.5 million mutual option with a $3 million buyout. He was traded to the Red Sox in July.
He hit .266 with 32 home runs and belted a grand slam for the Red Sox in the AL Championship Series.
Schwarber will likely serve as the Phillies' designated hitter, with time in the outfield and first base as well.
Reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper had stumped for the club to sign Schwarber. Harper said this week it would be a “downer” if the Phillies didn’t sign Kris Bryant, Nick Castellanos or Schwarber. The team needs a left fielder and President Dave Dombrowski said Sunday ownership hasn’t given him any limitations on spending money.
Harper said at the Phillies' spring training complex in Clearwater, Florida, he was thrilled with the move.
“It's huge for us. It gives us another bat in the lineup,” Harper said. “He's a proven winner everywhere he's gone. He's done a really good job. He gives us a huge opportunity to fill that void out in left field.”
The Phillies finished 82-80 last season, their first winning record since 2011, but extended their postseason drought to an NL-worst 10 years.
“I know the fans want us to be a winning team and this organization wants us to be a winning team,” Harper said. “Being able to add somebody like that is going to help us that much more.”
Schwarber won a World Series with the Cubs in 2016.
The Phillies also finalized their one-year contract with outfielder Odúbel Herrera. He played in 124 games for the Phillies in 2021, batting .260 with 27 doubles, two triples, 13 home runs, 51 RBIs, 59 runs scored and six steals. He made starts at each outfield position, 92 of which came in center field.
Since the lockout ended, the Phillies have added a pair of late-inning relievers, signing right-hander Jeurys Familia and lefty Brad Hand. A day earlier the Phillies finalized a $6 million, one-year deal with Hand and a $6 million, one-year contract with Familia.
Familia can earn $600,000 for games pitched: $150,000 each for 50, 55, 60 and 65. He also can earn $400,000 for innings: $200,000 apiece for 60 and 65.
“Hopefully, we're not done and we can go out and get another guy,” Harper said. “We'll see where we go from there.”
WHEELER OUT WITH ILLNESS
Ace right-hander Zack Wheeler will miss a few days with the flu.
Manager Joe Girardi said Wheeler does not have COVID-19 and will return when he has no symptoms. He was scheduled to throw a bullpen Thursday, but that will be pushed back.
“He came up positive for the flu, no COVID,” Girardi said. “We just have to go by how he feels. You never know how long the flu is going to linger. The other thing is we’re trying to keep him out of the clubhouse so it doesn’t spread.”
NOLA'S FIRST GO
Aaron Nola will make his first spring start Saturday against Toronto. The right-hander went 9-9 with a 4.63 ERA and 223 strikeouts last season. Girardi said Nola is expected to throw about 35 pitches. Minor league right-hander Michael Kelly will start Philadelphia's spring opener against Detroit on Friday.
AP Sports Writer Rob Maaddi contributed to this report.