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Cubs Staying The Course, Sign OF Nate Schierholtz

By bullpenbrian at 12.06.2012 2 comments.

Nate Schierholtz? Didn’t see this one coming, but it falls right in line with the Cubs’ course of action this offseason–patching up holes with affordable stop-gap players.

First Scott Baker ($5.5M), then Dioner Navarro ($1.75M), next Scott Feldman ($4.5M) and now Schierholtz ($2.25M).

The upside for Schierholtz is his left-handed bat and ability to play both corner outfield positions. He’s also in his prime, 28, and could stay under team control for a second season if all goes well in 2013…or could be used as trade bait come July.

In the meantime his signing adds outfield depth with the likelihood Soriano is dealt before Opening Day. With David DeJesus moving to center Schierholtz projects as the starting right fielder leaving Brett Jackson, Dave Sappelt, Tony Campana and Bryan Bogusevic filling-in as needed.

Schierholtz is far from a splash signing, but he does fill a need and comes with low-risk, high-reward potential.

Given the Cubs’ track record this offseason it appears we should expect a similar signing for third base and at least one more bullpen arm; the two biggest remaining needs.

Perhaps the relief arm can be filled by RHP Hector Rondon (Indians) who the Cubs selected in the Rule 5 Draft this morning. Nonetheless, there’s still plenty of time this winter to find a couple more serviceable players before the spring.

Of course none of the players the Cubs have added this winter can be considered a sure-thing, including Kyugi Fujikawa, but those they have signed should help stop the bleeding of a 101-loss team. That’s an important first order of business and a reminder patience is a virtue.

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2 Comments

  1. J-Huff says:

    Schierholtz reminds me of Reed Johnson. Not a bad fourth outfield option. But as you already covered, he’d project as starting RF right now if DeJesus moves to CF.

    • bullpenbrian says:

      Yeah, I can see that comparison. Little bit different skill set between the two…but they’re both that rugged, gamer-type. You need players like that, and it would be awesome if Schierholtz could add some veteran leadership like Reed did.

      I think the real advantage for the Cubs is Schierholtz being in his prime. If he’s going to have a decent year as a starter there’s a good chance it’s happening in the next 2-3 years. We’ll see.

      Not a bad move overall. Makes sense…just not the exciting big splash we’re all waiting/hoping for…maybe next year!

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