BREAKING: Cubs Sign Outfielder Nate Schierholtz to One-Year Deal (UPDATE: $2.25M Plus Incentives)

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.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

397 responses to “BREAKING: Cubs Sign Outfielder Nate Schierholtz to One-Year Deal (UPDATE: $2.25M Plus Incentives)”

  1. Skip Bauer

    Good signing, interested to see what the numbers are, great arm in Right, and can swing the bat a little bit career 80% contact rate, high K % though.

  2. Tyler

    Sorry Brett, but I already beat you to the pun, somewhat. 31566_533525803327044_2085609894_n.jpg

  3. Dustin

    I actually like this signing!!!

  4. nkniacc13

    Now I got to think the Cubs will either select a pitcher or trade the 2nd pick for a pitching prospect in tomorrows Rule 5 with this signing

  5. OJ

    This guy would would be a reserve on any other team. *yawn*

  6. David

    No no no!

  7. nkniacc13

    2.25 mil with 500k in incentives. Not a bad 1 yr deal for a flyer

    1. Lou

      That’s too much for this guy.

      1. Hee Seop Chode

        I think the bigger problem is “this guy”. He had 12 home runs last year. combine him with Tony C and you’ve got about 13 home runs for 2 outfield positions. hell, combine him with 3rd base and you’ve got under 20. How many big league teams average 7 a man between center, 3b, and right?

        this season is going to be so booooorrring

        1. Hee Seop Chode

          *DeJesus not Campana

        2. hansman1982

          really, so we are slotting this guy for Opening Day starter in RF? Is that what we are doing here? Proclaiming that a $2.25M signing clearly indicates the Cubs are tossing the towel on 2013?

          Good God.

          1. Kyle

            Well, it depends on whether the Opening Day starter for the other team was a righty or a lefty.

            It doesn’t make any sense for Schierholtz, who did seem to have several teams interested in him, to sign with the Cubs for a lesser role than he’s had in recent years: Primary starter in a platoon vs. right-handed pitchers, which is about 70% of the starts.

            Whether it means they are tanking or not depends on what they do with the remaining money they have, including the savings by going cheap in RF. There are still some interesting routes they could take, though they are dwindling.

          2. gutshot5820

            Dumb and dumber – “The odds of us winning are one in a million”
            Cub fans – “So you are saying we have a shot?”

  8. Dustin

    If he get 500 AB, he probably could hit .275 15-20HR 60-70 RBI

  9. morgan

    are you kidding me, this bum is going to start in RF, looks like another 100 loss season, him and dejesus in the outfield shouldnt even be aloud to be in the same starting outfield for the Marlins let alone the Cubs, im all for rebuilding but this shit isnt rebuilding, this is a slap in the face to paying cubs fans everywhere if this dude is the starter in RF, got to be a better option this this scrub, who we going to put a 3rd another bum

    1. Lou

      That’s just too good. :)

    2. Trueblue

      Morgan, I agree with you entirely. At least try to put a team on the field that can be competitive. This is another slap in the face to all Cub fans.

    3. sclem21

      ‘aloud’? really? go away. it’s called a stop-gap, a necessary part of rebuilding without over spending.

      1. Lou

        And yet I think they spent too much on him.

      2. bluekoolaidaholic

        Stop gap?, oh, you mean losing on the cheap.
        What a load of crap.
        Another bum on a crap team.

      3. morgan

        thats what last year was for, they need to start filling holes with players who are going to be on this team for years to come, if there going to compete in 14 they cant sign half a team in the offseason, yeah they have prospects but they cant always be counted on, so were looking at the whole OF not going to be here in 2 years, the 3rd most likely, prob the catcher, the 3rd 4th 5th starter, and with Garza likely to be traded the number 1, and half the bullpen need to start getting players who we can count on for years to come

    4. Muck

      You know if this is what it takes i don’t care. You could go out and sign a big shot maybe for that position. That’s not a Theo Epstein move though that sounds like what Jim Hendry did. Needed a spot for the outfield so made a rash decision and signed Milton Bradley. We all know how that ended up. And as it says he will most likely be platooning with Sappelt don’t worry you won’t have to put up for him 162 days this year. Yeah he’s not the best player we coulda got but who gives a crap. And don’t rip on DeJesus he had a pretty decent year. Ok i’m done ranting.

    5. Serio

      I agree! It’s like Theo is wearing these

      http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/bad-idea-jeans/17w5aaq4o

  10. Mavis

    ….not impressed.

  11. OJ

    114 games last year, .260 AVG, 6 HR, 21 RBI for Giants/Phillies. Seriously?

  12. Trueblue

    Signings like this make me very sad. I never would have thought that after losing over a 100 games these are the type of players we would be going after. If the Cubs lose another 100 games this year and don’t show improvement at the big league level it will be a very disappointing season. I have season tickets to all 81 games and could only stomach going to 3 games last year. I couldn’t give the tickets away.

    1. sclem21

      i’ll take em, and i live in texas so I won’t even be able to go to 3. quit whining; it’s not a slap in anyone’s face.

  13. Kyle

    I really do like platoons, and I can see what they like here.

    But I really hope all the money we’re saving here goes to pitching (or 3b, but there’s nothing to spend it on at 3b).

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      That’s just Jed & Theo’s laziness. Why, just two nights ago, I put several thousand dollars under a big box propped up by a stick. Yesterday morning, there were at least three big league caliber 3rd basemen under the box! (It was a very big box.)

      1. Lou

        There was—so who was it? Oh, let me guess — it was Julio Franco. And Theo and Jed have just announced his sign at 55 on a one-year deal!

      2. Kyle

        Come on. I was being rather effusive about one of their moves :)

  14. nkniacc13

    remember he has under 5 years of service time so cubs can control him for 2014 by offering arb if they want

  15. Tim

    Wait, this non tender guy is going to be our “Starting right fielder?” Are you kidding me? I just posted saying I don’t know a lot about this guy, but hearing that he has a high K rate and doesn’t walk much….. I don’t get it. Why move David DeJesus out of right, and into center for a guy who is league average? This weakens our defense, and doesn’t do anything for us offensively. I REALLY hope we don’t plan on starting him everyday in right. If that is the case, combined with non-tendering Stewart in the current 3B climate, our FO would have some serious questions to answer, like when did you rehire Ed Lynch? WTF???

    1. TonyP

      DD has more value as a CF, so he can be traded for better prospects.

  16. mudge

    looks like a decent move.

  17. aCubsFan

    That’s the type of deal they need to sign Dempster to.

  18. Marcel91

    Good value signing. The guy has never gotten a chance at 500abs and was once highly regarded. Could be this years Josh Reddick…..if even a poormans version. Will give you more power/slugging than Dejesus.

    Bold prediction: I think if the cubs see enough out of Brett Jackson in spring training they could trade Dejesus earlier rather than later. Even now, if you compare Bjax and Dejesus as center fielders

    defense in CF – Jackson
    power – Jackson
    arm – Jackson
    plate discipline – about equal/maybe slight edge to Jackson
    contact rate/average – Dejesus
    speed – Jackson

    As you can see, Jackson is the better player right now and i’m not even considering what adjustments he’s made but Sveum and FO are still high on him.

    1. kranzman54

      A guy who strikes out that much you gave sligh edge to Jackson. I feel like Dejesus took way better ABs and that is why he lead off despite limited speed while Jackson continue to bat at the bottom of the order. Not saying it will say that way, but nothing I saw last year said Jackson had better plate discipline. I do think the prediction is a solid one though.

      1. Marcel91

        When I say plate discipline I mean seeing the most pitches and taking walks. Jackson does both very well. What your talking about is contact rate(which affects strikeouts) which I gave to Dejesus.

      2. Marcel91

        When I say plate discipline I mean seeing the most pitches and taking walks. Jackson does both very very well. What your talking about is contact rate(which affects strikeouts) which I gave to Dejesus.

  19. ottoCub

    Is he “scrappy”? But seriously. The Cubs need an experienced outfielder. Schierholtz seems like a good low-risk sign, especially if he’s under 5 years service.

  20. Dan

    I think it’s funny’

  21. Carew

    I like all of you guys because we are Cubs brothers/family, but please stop the complaining, and let everything play out. You never know what can happen.

    That being said, I like this signing. It fills something that the FO said they were going to go after, and it’s possible they are not done yet.

  22. fromthemitten

    can’t argue with a one year deal… if he sucks he’s gone. not like they’re gonna contend next year.

  23. trevor

    he better be a 4th outfielder type, and not a starter….talk all you want about trading soriano but if we replace him with guys like this were losing a lot of production

  24. Tim

    I know we aren’t going for it this year, but why not just platoon Campana/Sapplet in center, and keep DeJesus in right? At least that way the defense wouldn’t suffer with DeJesus moving to center. I mean we already have Barney playing 2B who is just brutal offensively, why not a brutal platoon in center to match?

    1. kranzman54

      Campana is a bench base stealer PERIOD. He is fun, but his speed did not lead to runs. This guy is deffinetely an improvement and everyone is still complaining, imagine the fury if we started Campana/Sapplet.

  25. nkniacc13

    You guys talk about wanting to platoon him but he’s never had 500 ab in a year why not see what he has in a season that the cubs weren’t likely going to contend anyway and if he has a good year they offer arb to him and have him under control next year as well.

  26. cubz23

    This really does suck. I am no sure I can sit and watch another year of this crap. When rebuilding don’t you at some point need to sign at the very least decent players. Than throw in a guy like Bourn. What a joke this team will not be competitive in 5 years let alone 3.

    Guess we get to watch castro and rizzo atleast.

    1. Marcel91

      any team that signs bourn will regret it in 2 maybe 3 years tops for reasons we’ve already talked about. If you can’t handle this hard rebuilding process go be a white sox or yankees fan and don’t watch. Jus sayin’

      1. Hee Seop Chode

        I think i’m going to be a Cub moderate fan. The point of the exercise is entertainment right? This isn’t fun or entertaining.

  27. Rizzofanclub

    I can not understand anyone getting too excited or too mad about this move. If he bounces back and has a good year we can flip or offer arb for next year, if he stinks we cut him. I would like the cubs to overpay and get a starter that will be a big part of 2014 team. If the cubs signed Anibal Sanchez to the 6 yr 90 million he wants, I would call this offseason a great success b/c we would be getting valuable pieces that will help when the cubs can compete.

  28. Zogie

    Not that great of a sign. I was hoping for a bit more to add to the line-up. DeJesus’
    value goes down in center and Schierholtz is an average defender. He is not a candidate to hit for a high average or get on base a lot. He also does not hit for much power. He has a career .727 OPS. When the trading deadline comes around, I don’t believe they will get much of a haul for him either. If anything, I see this as a stall until BJax is ready to take over CF.

  29. nkniacc13

    I wouldn’t be shocked with this putting the Cubs at 39 that before they leave nashville they have a trade so that they aren’t at 40. I still think they draft and keep a pitcher in the Rule 5

  30. Dude

    Potential OF next year: Dejesus, Schierholtz, Campana
    Ouch

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