nate schierholtz cubsAlthough Alfonso Soriano is dominating the headlines this week, the Chicago Cubs arguably have two more valuable trade chips in the outfield playing alongside Soriano in David DeJesus and Nate Schierholtz. Each had been dealing with various physical issues – DeJesus just came back from a shoulder strain, and Schierholtz just got some time off for various bumps and bruises – but each appears to be back, healthy, and productive.

Moreover, each of DeJesus and Schierholtz offer an additional year of reasonably-priced team control beyond this season (DeJesus has a $6.5 million team option for 2014, Schierholtz is in his final year of arbitration next year), which adds to their possible trade value.

Of course, then again, that adds to their value to the Cubs, as well. And if the Cubs do end up moving Soriano, they’ll already have one outfielder to replace going into next year. Would they be willing to have as many as three to replace?

Teams are reportedly interested in finding out.

On Schierholtz, who is hitting .277/.334/.521 on the year and making just $2.25 million, the Cubs are reportedly receiving heavy interest from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Bruce Levine reports that the Pirates have been watching Schierholtz closely for a month as they look to improve in right field. Schierholtz is at the top of their list, according to Levine, together with White Sox outfielder Alex Rios (.274/.328/.436 this year, making $12.5 million this and next year, and a $14 million team option for 2015 with a $1 million buyout).

This isn’t the first report we’ve seen regarding Pirate interest in Schierholtz, and they probably aren’t alone in their interest. But given Schierholtz’s value to the Cubs, I doubt he’d be traded for less than solid value. There’s certainly no impetus to make a move for the sake of making a move.

The same is probably true for David DeJesus, though maybe slightly less so, given that DeJesus is four years older than Schierholtz, will likely make more money in 2013, and may be miscast as a center fielder. Still, he’s a productive player (106 OPS+ in center field) and a great teammate, one of whom the Cubs are fond.

“He’s running hard 90 feet down first base to show those kids what it looks like when a big-leaguer plays the game the right way,” Theo Epstein told CSN about DeJesus’s recent stint in Arizona. “So that’s really impressive. It had nothing to do with being traded or not traded, but I wanted to thank him for that. That means a lot. That makes us a better organization when you have guys doing something like that.

“He’s just a really good baseball player that has lived up to his contract. He’s a left-handed bat who has the exact approach we’re trying to teach in this organization.” (The CSN piece is a good read for additional thoughts from Epstein and DeJesus, himself.)

So, given his value and his contract, he definitely won’t be traded, right? Ah, you know better than that.

“Would that make him untouchable? No, no one’s untouchable,” Epstein told CSN. “[But] we’ll weigh out the options [and see] what’s best for the Cubs.”

That’s the appropriate line for any Cubs player going into the Trade Deadline, not just Schierholtz and DeJesus. But when it comes to reasonably valuable and movable trade pieces, the Cubs’ other two outfielders are probably going to draw a lot of interest this week. I tend to doubt the Cubs will affirmatively shop either player, but I expect that the Cubs will listen.

  • jt

    The Cubs do not need David Price.
    The Cubs need then next David Price who is 22 y/o or younger.
    The Cubs have some pretty good prospects.
    But what they do not have is the next David Price.
    We all like having P. Johnson.
    Is P. Johnson the next Price?
    Probably not!
    I would not consider giving up Schierholtz and/or Lake and/or Johnson and or …
    for a Kingham. They have enough guys like Kingham.
    I’m not sure about Glasnow. His stats read a bit better than Kingham.
    But a guy that, to the FO, projects to be the next 22 y/o or younger David Price, well, that is the guy I wouldn’t mind offering a package of Schierholtz and/or Lake and/or Johnson and/or ….

    • Rebuilding

      Outside of the Dodgers (Kershaw) I’m not sure anyone has the next David Price. And to get the next David Price you either have to be historically lucky by trade, spend $200 million bucks or draft him

      • Rebuilding

        Rondon from NC State might be the next David Price. Unfortunately (Fortunately?) we are playing too well to get him

        • X the Cubs Fan

          Beede is the next Kershaw??

          • X the Cubs Fan

            Besides who needs the next Price when we have the next Gary Sheffield (Baez), Giancarlo Stanton (Jorge Soler), Adam Jones (Almora), Matt Holiday/Troy Glaus (Bryant), Jose Reyes (Alcantra), Prince Fielder (Dan Vogelbach) and Mark Reynolds (Mike Olt, with better defense).

            • Rebuilding

              Good point

  • Timothy Scarbrough

    I figured they would be a throw-in with a pitcher, like Reed Johnson last year. I suppose that ship has sailed.

  • Mr. B. Patient

    We can’t count on Lake. Keith Law just blistered him on ESPN radio. Called him a ‘con’.
    Therefore we can’t trade any other outfield.

    • gocatsgo2003

      We can’t trade any outfielders because of something Keith Law said? Really… and how is Lake a “con” anyway?

      • DarthHater

        So, if Lake continues to hit, will he then be an ex-con?

        • Jason Powers

          Yep. Prison ID – .300 FOR LIFE!

    • Kyle

      It’s not true just because Law said it, but anyone counting on anything more than a bench role for Lake in the future is probably going to be disappointed. He might be more, but probably not.

      • DarthHater

        Calling Lake a young player who is unlikely to be able to sustain his hot start is fine. Calling him a con is the kind of garbage statement I would expect from somebody who works for ESPN.

      • Mr. B. Patient

        Totally understand that. Lake has a history of being wildly, well..wild. He’s inconsistent,, this we know. What rubs me the wrong way is the ‘con’ comment. All Lake is doing is playing. He’s not conning ANYONE.

        That is all.

    • Jason Powers – Lake quote:

      Mike (Chicago)
      Is Junior Lake a good prospect or just a one week wonder?
      (1:07 PM)

      This is a great place to hit, so please take all AFL hitter stats with a major grain of salt. His feel for the game – including instincts on defense and ability to work the count or recognize offspeed stuff – is so limited that there’s a good chance he ends up on the mound.

      He’s being a smartass. How can one tell from one week? Puig still starting in LA, and hasn’t wowed with plate discipline. I remember Felix Pie getting a triple, and showing off at the beginning. Look how that turned out.

      He’s not wrong, but he could be proven wrong long-term. Wait and see – not like we are WS bound this year.

  • Chris

    Junior is going to be Junior and nobody wants Junior on the bench. If you can imagine a wild young mustang in the hills of Wyoming, that’s Junior. He may not look a coach in the eye or listen to your words but he will play real hard. He has not changed one bit since Rookie ball season with his bud Starlin, but neither has Starlin. Enjoy the athleticism because that is what it is.

  • Rebuilding

    Gillespie has made 3 spectacular plays in RF the last few games. Hadn’t heard anything about his defense but it looks plus

  • Njriv

    The Cubs and Pirates seem to be a perfect fit. Cubs have can fulfill the Pirates needs with Nate and Gregg and the Pirates have some decent pitching prospects.

  • Pingback: Lukewarm Stove: Additional Moves, Schierholtz, Russell, Big Contracts, More | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary()