Well this came out of left field (or right field, as the case may be. Hi-yo.)

According to Jerry Crasnick and Jon Heyman, the Cubs are close to finalizing a one-year deal with non-tendered outfielder Nate Schierholtz.

The 28-year-old outfielder was traded to the Phillies by the Giants midseason, and put up a .257/.321/.407 line across the two stops. He’s long been a platoon/bench type guy, playing both corner outfield spots, and put up a .278/.326/.430 line over 115 games in 2011. That was good for a 114 OPS+ (undervalued asset much?).

Multiple Cubs sources are confirming the signing, with the expectation that Schierholtz will be the Cubs’ starting right fielder.

He’s a career .266/.319/.413 hitter against righties, so it’s possible he’ll be a platoon-mate with Dave Sappelt, a righty (though Schierholtz’s numbers against lefties aren’t much worse). The advanced stats say he’s been decent defensively, but probably something short of very good.

It isn’t a particularly sexy signing, but Schierholtz was garnering a great deal of interest in recent days, and could make for a flippable piece midseason (everyone’s favorite phrase). He could be a stop-gap starter, or an eventual 4th outfielder. Either way, given the Cubs’ expectations for 2013, adding Schierholtz is just fine.

Obviously we’ll have much more on the signing in the coming days.

UPDATE: To including the numbers, Crasnick reports that Schierholtz is getting $2.25 million plus $500K in incentives, which, if accurate, is just a phenomenal deal. No, he’s not a game-changer, and yes, he’s just a platoon guy. But that’s a dirt cheap, minimal commitment for a guy who can actually produce some offensive value. I should be plain, though: it does signal that the Cubs are, indeed, not going to be particularly aggressive in terms of “competing” in 2013.

UPDATE Part 2: As noted astutely in the comments, if the Cubs like what Schierholtz offers this year, he’s actually under control through 2014 by virtue of not having enough service time for free agency by the end of 2013. So the Cubs could offer him arbitration after the season.

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  • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

    Sustained success is a joke. Hardly any team can do that unless you are constantly upgrading your roster. The cubs aren’t doing that by any stretch

  • Fastball

    Why did we get rid of LaHair to sign Schierholtz. LaHair was better and about $1.8M cheaper than this bum. I think the Commissioner needs to investigate the Cubs. This franchise is being raped by its owner worse than the Marlins franchise. There has not been one signing in 2 years that was intended to better this teams MLB roster for current and future seasons. This is now embarrassing for this organization and its fans. I want Tickets to sell the team because he is an idiot. Sell the team to Mark Cuban.

    • AB

      Did you watch Cubs baseball past June of last year??

      That was the Bryan LaHair we’d get. a poor defender as an outfielder, and probably a 220/300/400 line if we was lucky.

  • eragle

    I guess I never realized that signing a 4th outfielder would net over 300 comments. Everyone just relax.

  • OlderStyle

    Le sigh. Another season of suckage…
    If they signed McCarthy or similar and Youk that would tide me over through next season. But I don’t know how much more bargain bin/rummage sale acquisitions I can stomach. I’m starting to believe the Cubs ownership is really financially hamstringed despite the “major market” status. Perhaps the FO has been told to wait on the new tv deal before opening up spending? This is going to take longer than I thought. Not very happy about it and hard to stay positive. If they would at least make a reduction in ticket prices, even a token amount, it would help stem the frustration, turning into angst, over this “building” process.
    go cubs…

  • nick cafardo

    Typical cubs signing. Garbage player signed to trade at deadline. Exciting time to be a cub fan…

  • nick cafardo

    Theo thinks the mlb is like a video game. Sign a bunch of crap and combine all the shit and sell it off. Reminds me of madden. Pretty bushleague..

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  • http://www.bleachernation.com ZachCubs82

    Reading up on Ben Revere….he might have been a good decision as a centerfielder for the Cubs. Some collumnist said he is younger and cheaper version of Michael Bourn. Can anyone justify that?

    • Lou

      I believe you’re correct. More upside than Span. Makes me question the Schierholtz signing so much MORE.

      • JR

        The Schierholtz signing gives me a headache. Obviously the Cubs are going Flip mode again at the deadline. KInd of annoying..

      • Mick

        Revere having more upside than Span? I’d say Revere is currently at his ceiling. Revere will always be a singles hitter with plus defense and plus speed. Span on the other hand has proved he can drive the ball to all fields, get on base at a higher percentage, and has a much stronger arm from the OF, Revere is considered a liability in that category. Revere is what we could all hope Campana to achieve.

        The reason the Twins could make this trade even after trading Span is that they’ve got a CF prospect in Aaron Hicks that projects to better than both and is just about MLB ready and could in fact win the job out of ST. They’ve also got Darin Mastroianni that they can slide into CF to serve as that bridge to Hicks. I’m actually very bullish on Mastroianni this next season.

        My opinion on the trade is that the Twins absolutely fleeced the Phillies on this deal. I think Worley could have been enough but to include May puts this trade way over the top. If you ever get a minute go look at the Twins top-10 prospects, you’ll get the big picture with these two offseason moves. They’ve got a freaking 2014 prospect class to trump any team. http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2012/#list=min

    • http://www.bleachernation.com ZachCubs82


    • Cubbie Blues

      2012 stats wRC+ 88, SLG .342, OBP .333, GB% 66.9 wRAA -9.3. The best stat there is the OBP and that needs to go up. Espeacially with his .325 BABIP.
      Paul Sullivan is a columnist too. That doesn’t mean you should listen to anything he has to say.

      • bbmoney

        Plus you have to give up talent to get Revere and Schierholtz costs you nothing but money.

        And the Twins were pretty much only looking for young, cheap arms with upside, not something the Cubs have a lot of lying around.

      • Lou

        Well, since we all need to treat traditional beat reporters with a healthy dose of skepticism, what makes Bourn a better player than Revere? Just curious.

        • DarthHater

          Hmmm. Bourn has higher OBP and SLG, draws more walks, hits more doubles, more triples, and more home runs, steals a lot more bases and is a two-time gold glove center fielder. But other than that, nothing. :-)

          On the flip side, their percentages are not terribly far apart and Revere is five years younger, while Bourn is closing in on the age where his speed game is likely to decline.

          On balance, I’d say Bourn still is clearly better, but not necessarily for a rebuilding team.

        • Cubbie Blues

          2012 stats
          wRC+ 104, SLG .391, OBP .348, GB% 53.6, wRAA 6.3 BABIP 349
          No cherry picking envolved. I used the exact same stats from the same website. Oh, he also had 2 more SB.

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  • Stephen McCarthy

    This is the problem with all of you cub fans. You complain about not winning and then you don’t want to give an organization a chance to do what it has to do to establish a winning culture and build a “REAL” organization. What you people have seen for the last 70 years is not a real major league franchise (at least not a successful one). You bitch about not winning, yet you celebrate Wrigley Field and the bar, party atmosphere that has always been the true center of cub’s baseball. You talk about how great day baseball is, yet you are too dense to realize that day baseball is probably the major reason the cubs have not been to a World Series since 1945. You have absolutely no clue what it takes to put a winning team on the field, because most of you have never seen one. Yet here you are, criticizing people who have actually been there and know what it takes to win. Absolutely ridiculous!!!

    • DarthHater

      Heh heh. Let the fun begin!

    • TWC


      Hey, Steve-O, welcome to a 10-day-old thread. Your prescient advice about how to be a “REAL” fan would have been taken to heart had it only been a little more timely. As it is, we’ll just have to laugh at your impotent rage.

      Merry Christmas!

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