Faced with multiple holes on their roster as they’ve already lost multiple players to serious injury this spring, the Detroit Tigers have been scrambling to address their options before the regular season begins and it seems as though their attention has focused on the Chicago Cubs. Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago reports that long time Tigers executive Scott Reid has been in attendance for a number of Cubs in recent days in order to watch Nate Schierholtz and Darwin Barney.
Levine doesn’t mention whether the two sides have begun any discussions but he does not that the Cubs will likely ask for pitching in return in any deal.
Schierholtz, 30, has spent nearly his entire career (most of which was with the San Francisco Giants) as a right fielder but would presumably be asked to slide over to left in the event of a move to Detroit. He’s also mostly been a role player before stepping into full time at bats a season ago when he arrived in Chicago. He’d see 501 PA on the year, batting .251/.301/.470 with career highs of 21 HR and 32 2B. A left-handed hitter who’s likely a bit over his head playing daily, Schierholtz would be a similar option to the player he’d be replacing in Andy Dirks.
He’s due to earn $5 Million this season and will be a free agent at year’s end.
Barney, on the other hand, is known for his glove. The National League Gold Glove winner at second base in 2012 (and some would say he should have won it a year ago as well), Barney’s defensive value needs to remain high as he’s struggled mightily at the plate since his rookie season. That year he’d hit .276/.313/.353 in 571 PA. The two years since he’s combined to bat just .232/.283/.330.
Barney has very limited experience at shortstop in his career (19 games at the position, none in 2013) but has seen time at the position this spring with Starlin Castro on the shelf for the Cubs. The 28 year old is due $2.3 Million this season. He’ll be under team control for two more seasons.
Detroit continues to examine all of their options to address the holes on the roster, particularly the void at shortstop in the wake of Jose Iglesias’ injury, but each option appears to have the same roadblock – the opposing team is looking for pitching which the Tigers truly don’t have enough of to spare.