The Chicago Cubs agreed to a one-year deal with outfielder Nate Schierholtz, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. The deal with pay the left handed hitter $2.25 million and could reach as high as $2.75 million if incentives are reached.
Schierholtz was non-tendered by the Phillies last week but is regarded as an outstanding defensive right fielder. The signing will allow Chicago to use Schierholtz in right while moving David DeJesus to center field. The Yankees were reportedly very interested in signing Schierholtz as well and Jon Heyman tweets that he declined a two-year contract worth $5 million from an unnamed team in order to take the deal with Chicago.
Schierholtz is a career .270/.319/.419 hitter over six big league seasons with San Francisco and the Phillies. He was sent to Philadelphia last July as part of the trade that brought Hunter Pence to the eventual World Champion Giants.
Though he’s played mostly against right handers, Schierholtz’s career splits aren’t horribly skewed, which probably says more about how pedestrian he’s been versus righties than how well he’s hit southpaws. He’s got just a .732 OPS when facing a right handed pitcher and a .708 mark when facing a lefty. He does show slightly more pop with the platoon advantage, but again that’s relative. Schierholtz is rarely a threat to leave the yard.
This is a fine signing for a team that doesn’t figure to content and isn’t ready to expose their top prospects to a full season of major league pitching, but assuming that Schierholtz is any kind of a solution to Chicago’s problems is assuming too much. He’s effective in making contact but doesn’t regularly drive the ball, and he will help the outfield defense, but he’s not a guy that starts for a contending ballclub.
The bigger issue is that for at least the third time today, the Yankees lost out on a player they had targeted. In at least one case, with Jeff Keppinger, the player chose to take a smaller offer elsewhere rather than signing in New York, if the reports are to be believed.