NASHVILLE, Tenn. Working from the same blueprint, the Cubs found another player looking for an opportunity and a short-term commitment.
Nate Schierholtz has agreed to a one-year deal worth 2.25 million, an industry source confirmed Wednesday night, putting the outfield picture into sharper focus. The Cubs can put Schierholtz in right, shift David DeJesus to center and leave Alfonso Soriano in left (while listening to trade offers).
The Cubs declined to comment on the deal, which is pending a physical, and they may not be done adding pieces to their outfield. Either way, this maintains flexibility as they wait for the next wave, possibly Brett Jackson at some point in 2013.
While rumors float around the Opryland Hotel forget about Ryan Dempster the Cubs had zero appetite for a megadeal at the winter meetings.
Schierholtz fits the profile, because hes a left-handed bat and on the right side of 30 (29 years old next season). He won a World Series ring with the San Francisco Giants in 2010 before being shipped to the Philadelphia Phillies at last seasons trade deadline in the Hunter Pence deal.
Schierholtz is a career .270 hitter, with 24 homers in almost 1,400 plate appearances. He also has a reputation for being a good defender.
Another value signing wont generate much buzz, but this front office has made its priorities clear. That agenda means Dempster almost certainly wont be returning to the North Side.
That was viewed as an extreme long shot even weeks before the Cubs signed two starting pitchers to one-year deals (Scott Baker and Scott Feldman). Once Zack Greinke sets the market, Dempster will be in position to command a big multi-year contract. With this front office in talent-acquisition mode and refusing to give out no-trade clauses, the reunion suggested by an online report makes little sense. Insiders quickly shot down the rumors.
The Cubs arent going to cause sticker shock. Theyre shopping for players like Schierholtz.
When everyone in the lobby is shocked by the size or length of a deal, general manager Jed Hoyer said, often times that deal happens because a team feels like thats an absolutely necessary piece to put him over the top. (That) urgency percentage or that capping piece right now thats not the case (for us).