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nate schierholtz cubsI don’t want to play the part of the sandy ostrich here, so I’ll acknowledge that, while I’ve maintained that Nate Schierholtz presents a great deal of value to the Chicago Cubs in 2014, it feels increasingly likely that he’ll actually be traded today.

Yesterday, there was a great deal of non-specific Schierholtz smoke, which, itself, came on the heels of phrases like “most likely the next to be traded” and the like. Now, Jayson Stark emphasizes that, as Deadline day unfolds, Schierholtz still appears the most likely Cub to be traded – even moreso than Kevin Gregg or James Russell.

If there’s a market at all for Gregg, I think he’s still clearly the most likely player to be traded on this roster. But, I suppose there is a possibility that his market has evaporated completely over the last few weeks thanks to some rough outings and several reliever moves in the last two days. If so, then maybe you would have to give it to Schierholtz.

The tricky parsing is whether Schierholtz being the most likely Cub to be moved necessarily means he’s likely to be moved. In theory, the most likely Cub to be moved could still have just a, say, 25% chance of being traded (with everyone else something less than 25%). But you wouldn’t say, definitionally, that the player was likely to be traded.

With Schierholtz, given what I expect are lofty trade demands (again, because of that sticky 2014 value thing), I never really felt comfortable saying the odds of a trade were much better than 50/50. And if Schierholtz is at 50/50, I tend to think Gregg remains more likely to be moved than that. I suppose I’m just having fun with numbers and gut checks.

In any event, the point remains: a huge number of sources seem to believe that the Cubs – who are expected to make some moves today – are likely to deal Schierholtz if they deal anyone at all.

Now we get to start really digging into what the expected return should be for a cheap, 1.5-year-controlled 29-year-old right fielder who plays good defense and runs the bases well, and who is hitting extremely well … but is doing so in a platoon, and as part of a career year. A couple top 10 organizational prospects? A top 80 to 100 overall prospect? That kind of feels like the range, but I’m going to have to dig in to determine whether that’s justifiable.

HOWEVA …

Ken Rosenthal just reported that a source tells him the Cubs are expected to deal Schierholtz or David DeJesus, with DeJesus perhaps more likely to be dealt. Rosenthal acknowledges Schierholtz’s value to the Cubs in 2014 (DeJesus is also under control for 2014, but likely at a higher salary ($6.5 million option), and is four years older than Schierholtz). The Pirates, Rosenthal says, are in on both outfielders.

Schierholtz likely brings you the better return now, so that’s a factor. But DeJesus is a great veteran presence to have on a young team. Having to choose is actually a tough call, and the Cubs will likely let the offers do the choosing for them. Where things would get really interesting is if the Cubs received great offers on both outfielders. Do they deal both, knowing that they’ve suddenly got to come up with at least two new outfielders next year (that’s assuming they believe Junior Lake is a legit starter)? Or do they feel like, in order to have a shot at being marginally competitive next year, they’ve got to start from a place where they still have at least one of those two guys?

  • Jed Jam Band

    People really, really hate Castro. He needs to speak up and defend himself against this nonsense. Once again, this would be an area of expertise in which having Sammy around might not be such a bad thing.

    • Jono

      I dislike him, not so much really really hate him. His style of play is exactly what the new front office is trying to change, it’s what we’ve been seeing from this team for years now. He has terrible plate discipline, sloppy defense, and (despite the fact that he’s young, which I admit is an argument against what I’m writing here) he underperforms (again, I know, he’s young and still hasn’t hit his prime yet, but it is what it is, he underperforms). Castro, to me, represents the things that have been wrong with this team for the past so many years. And now is the time of change

      • BT

        He’s a 23 year old with a top 5 ROY, 2 All Star games, almost 650 hits, and two seasons of 3.0 WAR and above already under his betl, and in your mind, he under-performs. He is having a bad season. To pretend it encapsulates his career is ridiculous.

        • mjhurdle

          I like those facts, but isn’t it more fun to randomly pull vague, made up complaints (“he under-performs”) to somehow validate a personal dislike for a player?

          • Jono

            Castro batting average is .248. 30 RBIs. 6 HR. Facts. The facts show that RIGHT NOW to ‘sthe underperforming. This isn’t 2011. It’s 2013. If he improves, my sentiment for him will also improve. Facts matter

            • Jono

              “to ‘sthe” = “he’s”

            • mjhurdle

              so you are retroactively changing the pronouncement of an “under-performing player” to an “under-performing in the window of time that I decide matters”?
              gotcha, that makes more sense.
              Because if you were to look at his first 3 years, he hasn’t under-performed.
              But if you choose to only look at May-June of this year, then he is under-performing.

              • Feeney

                He’s also still really young. He’s what? A year and a half older than Kris Bryant? He’s younger than Mike Olt by about 2 years.

                • Jono

                  yea, he has plenty of time to get back to his all star caliber production. He could definitely do that, and he probably will.

              • Jono

                he’s been regressing for 2 years now. Last year wasn’t as bad as this year, but he’s going in the wrong direction. And tomorrow is already august. Stats so far this year matter. If you don’t think his stats are underperforming, then more power to you

                • Feeney

                  BABIP

                  2011: .344
                  2012: .315
                  2013: .292

                  He’s been a little unlucky this season as well.

                  • Jono

                    hopefully that’s an accurate indicator of his coming improvement (or his better luck, however you want to word it). I don’t know a lot about these kinds of stats, but maybe this could also indicate that he’s not hitting the ball as hard as he used to? Harder hits tend to find some ground, while softer hits are easier to make a play? I don’t know, just thinking with my fingers

                    • willis

                      That’s what she said…

                    • Feeney

                      His GB, LD, and FB percentages are all very close to his career averages. So I don’t know that there is any truth to the idea that he isn’t hitting the ball as hard.

                    • Jono

                      interesting, Feeney. I guess that’s good news, that he’s probably just getting unlucky. Thanks for the insight to these deeper stats.

                • mjhurdle

                  regressing for 2 years? im assuming by 2 years you mean last year and the half of this one?

                  and if so, i would invite you to look closer at Castro’s stats from his “regression” last year. More RBIs, More HRs, a .002 decline in SLG, a .020 decline in OPS. the only major difference was the 24 point dip in BA. Other than that his stats were very comparable, and if you wanted to call it a “regression” it would be very minor.

                  I could be wrong, but it appears you have decided to not like him, and will simply adjust your view to see what you want.
                  You say that the past doesn’t matter, then cite “regression” from the past 2 years.
                  You say it is all about right now, but ignore that Castro had a good July.

                  I respect your right to like and dislike players however you choose. I personally hate Hunter Pence for absolute no legitimate reason, but i don’t try to hide it behind some vague complaints.

                  • Jono

                    I’m going by his production on the field. The stats. Feeney showed me some deeper stats that actually have changed my perception of him because I’m basing my judgments on facts. Reality. He’s regressing. He may be getting unlucky, and I’m now including that in my sentiment of him, but none-the-less, his stats matter. Tomorrow is already august. I never said that past doesn’t matter, I said that my perception of him right now is based on how he’s doing right now. And I’m not hiding behind anything. I’m writing it all out, the statistics that I’m basing my sentiment on. You’re choosing to ignore parts of reality just to make an argument

                    • willis

                      he is having a down year. I don’t care what deeper stats say. He isn’t the same hitter this year that he was even last year, and last year was a bit removed from the first two years. He has shown some signs of life lately at the plate, which is awesome to see. But Jono is right in that this is his worst major league season and that in your fourth year, kind of odd to see. Still very young, and still able to get back to his norm which is what this organization needs.

                    • Jono

                      Exactly, Willis. I guess people just get a little butt hurt when others criticize players they like

                  • Jono

                    it sounds like you decided to argue with me just b/c I expressed an opinion that you don’t share. So I’m unhappy with his performance and my sentiment of him has fallen? So what? You don’t have to start mischaracterizing me b/c I have an opinion that different from yours.

                    • willis

                      It’s not even specific players, but anything cub that is not completely positive gets ripped a lot around here. Which is actually good because it leads to deeper discussions among good baseball fans. It happens but it’s better than a bunch of sheep.

                    • Jono

                      That’s true, nice perspective. Otherswise, it would get pretty boring and Brett wouldn’t get his clicks

                    • BT

                      That’s NOT what your argument was Jono, and no one is butt hurt, except maybe you. You originally put forth an argument that Starlin Castro is a player that under performs. NOT that he was having a bad year, but that, and I quote, “he is what he is, he underperforms”. That is a statement as to the type of player he is, NOT the type of season he is currently having. That is why people are disagreeing with you, because based on all evidence, you are flat out wrong.

                    • mjhurdle

                      I choose to point out the fact that your broad generalization was wrong.
                      I respect your right to have an opinion, regardless of whether i agree with it or not.
                      However, i also have a right to point out when people say things like “Castro, to me, represents the things that have been wrong with this team for the past so many years” and “he’s young and still hasn’t hit his prime yet, but it is what it is, he underperforms” without being able to support their statements.

                      I am no blind Castro supporter. I recognize the flaws in his game and the fact that he may never overcome them. however, to say that a 23 year old 2 time AS represents what is wrong with a team is a bold statement, one that i personally feel deserves at least a little factual evidence to back it up, which is why i responded to begin with. I just wanted to know if there was reasoning behind that, or just simple complaining.
                      I have my answer, and there is no need for us to keep going in circles.
                      Nothing “butthurt” about it. i respect your right to your opinion.

                    • Jono

                      I never claimed Castro was wrong with the Cubs. He’s definitely their best option for SS right now. See, you’re making up pathetic arguments just to have an argument. Facts matter.

                    • Jono

                      BT- that makes no sense. He’s underperforming to his expectations. It is what it is, he’s underperforming and regressing. I’m not sure how that’s so hard to understand

                    • mjhurdle

                      “Castro, to me, represents the things that have been wrong with this team for the past so many years”

                      that is your quote, not something i made up.

                      Have a great day.

                    • Jono

                      MJhurdle- that’s my argument, not yours. You’re saying that my opinion is based on emotion and not fact. I just posted his stats that prove my opinion is fact-based and proved that you’re making up arguments (like the argument when you claimed I thought Castro was wrong for the Cubs. I never made that argument. You made that up because you have nothing else to write). You’re grasping at straws and make no sense.

                    • BT

                      That’s even sillier. Now you are arguing that Castro isn’t as good as you hoped Castro would be? He’s under-performing to the standards that you have set for him, not to major league standards? I don’t even know how to argue with you any more if that’s now the criteria you are going to trot out.

                    • Jono

                      MJhurdle-

                      From 2011 to 2013, BA .307 .283 .245, OBP .341 .323 .283, SLG .432 .430 .349, OPS .773 .763 .632, WAR 3.0 3.4 -0.5

                      Have a nice day

                    • Jono

                      BT- right. He’s not living up to expectations and is regressing. It’s not a hard concept. I’m not the only person who expects more from him than what he’s doing

                  • Jono

                    If you don’t think he’s regressing, than more power to you http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/stats/_/id/30450/starlin-castro

                    Just a taste: From 2011 to 2013, BA .307 .283 .245, OBP .341 .323 .283, SLG .432 .430 .349, OPS .773 .763 .632, WAR 3.0 3.4 -0.5

                    The only single stat that didn’t get worse every year was in 2012 when his WAR went from 3.0 to 3.4, but it’s -0.5 this year.

                    So as much as you want to mischaracterize the reason why I don’t think highly of Castro, the reality is that his stats prove that my opinion is fact-based. The fact that you want to mischaracterize my views as being purely emotional prove that you don’t have any better argument and are grasping at any pathetic argument you can thing of

        • Jono

          I understand all that, but he still has bad plate discipline, sloppy defense, and is underperforming. It is what it is. He might get better in the future. If so, ill like him more. I used to like him more when he was performing well. In othe words, ny sentiment on a player isn’t tied to past production or forecasted production. Castro is regressing, so is my sentiment for him. And yes, those generalities about plate discipline, sloppy defense and underperforming are TRUE. People can bash those observations all they want, but they’re still TRUE.

          • Jp3

            I heard his feet smell too…. What happened to your avatar Jono? It disappeared briefly there, no impostors are stealing your identity like they do Assman22 on a daily basis are they?

            • Jono

              His feet smell? Im basing my sentiment on his stats. His on field production. And im on my phone, the avatar only works from my computer

              • hansman1982

                then you don’t have the same email address for both of them. The avatar is tied to email, not the computer.

                • Jono

                  I do. I have the same email connected to my phone. When I get an email, my phone notifies me.

                  • jh03

                    huh.

                    You have to type in the same email address into the “email” line above where you comment. If it’s the same, your picture is the same. If it’s not, your picture won’t show.

                    • Jono

                      On my phone now, I had a secondary email auto listed for some reason. I hope this works….

                    • jh03

                      It worked.

                    • Jono

                      nice, thanks!!

                • hansman1982

                  Mmm, I wonder if capitalizing the first letter of the email does anything

          • TWC

            “It is what it is.”

            “When I was playing shortstop, the Cardinals were in first place. I know that. It is what it is.”

            – Ryan Theriot

            • Jono

              Yes, it is what it is. Reality. Facts. (Now I’m at my computer)

        • Jono

          And I used to like him more when he was putting up those great numbers and making all star teams. It’s not like a hate him now. I already disclosed that. But he’s not putting up those numbers now, so my sentiment of him now reflects his reduction in production. If he improves, my sentiment on him will improve. I’m connected the reality of his statistics and not some narrative of who he can become or what he was

          • Justin

            Yep, I agree with that Jono. I am cool with Castro turning around and watching butterflies in the field right before a pitch. I am cool with the huge amount of botches, or head scratching plays. I am completely cool with all the non-sense Castro offer. I am cool with all of it as long as he HITS. Hit like you did the first 3 yrs and I will love you again and accept the other insanity and stick up for you when other people talk badly of you Starlin. Just hit, and I will look for insects in the infield with you. Just hit!!

            • Jono

              pretty much! Just hit!

    • Falselife

      He can speak up and end it all. He can speak up by performing at non negative war value first, that would help. Words aren’t going to fix this.

      • Kyle

        It didn’t help the last two years when he was the object of the same mindless criticisms while performing quite well.

        • On The Farm

          Yeah who cares about those back-to-back 3 WAR seasons he put up.

          • hansman1982

            All the while being in the top-10 youngest players in the league.

            Damn, we could have Mike Trout on the team and some folks would hate him.

            • Justin

              I am a Castro fan, but man has he played like shit this year. I know all players have down years, but him not hitting to this degree has been mind boggling. All the players the Cubs have picked up in the last yr has been awesome. But to me Castro and Rizzo playing close to what we hoped and expected is by far the most important thing for the Cubs longterm hopes. Those two guys have to figure it out (Rizzo to a lesser degree), or this rebuild is getting pushed back much longer.

              • hansman1982

                I’ve been hearing Rizzo is hitting like shit for the past 2 months, yet he still has a 1B-average wOBA and is still REALLY young. He is doing just fine and there are no massive red-flags on him.

                • Justin

                  Great to hear you love what Rizzo is doing Hansman. If you read my post correctly I said CASTRO is playing like shit. Becasue he has been playing like shit. I never said Rizzo… With that said I was hoping for more for Rizzo, but at least he hasn’t been a total train wreck like Castro thought.

                  • Justin

                    *though.

                  • hansman1982

                    You mentioned him in the dissapointing players.

                    Hell, even as terrible as Castro has been this season, he is still above-average, positionally, in wOBA.

              • Chris

                Alan Trammell and Sandberg worked out Castro at second base early one morning for 2 hrs. and agreed that this would be his best position. They went to Lou and he dis-agreed so his career started that spring in the bigs. Tons of work with some good coaching and he has not improved.

                • Cubman23

                  I’m with Chris on this one – hoping the long-term plan is for him to become a 2B. What frustrates me about Castro is that he’s not really progressing defensively. I think that he wouldn’t get as much criticism right now if he played solid defense, because hitting is streaky for everybody. He’s anywhere from below average to poor on virtually every defensive metric except for range. How long can you keep that type of player at the most important defensive position on the field?

                  It’s not like this is a new phenomenon for him either – his defense has been shoddy his whole career. I think that saying “he’s only 23″ is valid when talking about his offense improving, but there’s not much precedent for a player significantly improving their defense as they get older (at least not at a position like SS).

                  • gocatsgo2003

                    His defense has not been “shoddy” his entire year — he had range factors above league-average for both 2011 and 2012 and, in fact, a dWAR of 1.2 last year.

                    • Cubman23

                      I said that his range factor was solid – that’s not in dispute. He had his best defensive year last year, no doubt. That would be encouraging, but he’s down again significantly this year defensively and his second year was worse than his first. That is not the pattern of an improving defender.

                    • gocatsgo2003

                      (Response to Cubman)

                      Agree on the general point — just wanted to point out that he hasn’t been “shoddy” his entire career.

  • Pingback: BN Trade Deadline Blogathon: Hour 30 | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

  • Freshness21

    Could he have made that catch? Yes. Should he have made that catch? Yes. But it’s baseball. Sheet happens. Hate cliches, but it’s a game of inches, and centimeters sometimes.

  • ND Cub

    Shouldn’t DeJesus’ wife be the tipping point in deciding which outfielder to trade? The FO should be doing everything possible to keep Mrs. DeJesus in the Wrigley stands.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Not that I’m that superficial, but, if I were, I would point out that Mrs. Schierholtz is also quite attractive.

      • Cyranojoe
      • DocPeterWimsey

        “My weariness amazes me, I’m branded on my feet
        I have no one to meet
        And the ancient empty street’s too dead for dreaming..”

        Oops: evidently the ancient empty street is not quite that dead!

        • Scott

          Nice Dylan reference.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            One of the two best songs about insomnia ever!

  • Jeff

    DeJesus would be one veteran worth keeping. A good mentor to future prospects coming up and all around good guy.

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