LATEST UPDATE: Nate Schierholtz officially signed with the Cubs - 11/6/12 – 12:45pm
Nine teams called on Nate Schierholtz within the first 12 hours after he was non-tendered. NYY, looking for a right fielder, are in the mix.
Nine teams called on Nate Schierholtz within the first 12 hours after he was non-tendered. NYY, looking for a right fielder, are in the mix.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 2, 2012
Chris Cwik of CBS Sports later tweeted that the Yankees are the actually the front-runner’s for Schierholtz.
Schierholtz became a free agent last week when the Philadelphia Phillies opted against tendering him for the 2013 season, which makes sense because of how much he struggled in the City of Brotherly Love.
He is a solid option as a fourth outfielder, and would play a nice complementary role off any teams bench because of his defense and base running abilities.
But what concerns me is that the Yankees want Schierholtz to be Nick Swisher’s replacement, and that would be a major downgrade.
Schierholtz can play both corners in the outfield, which is a plus but he certainly is not the guy you want out their everyday because he has never played close to a full season in his six career years in the Majors.
The most at-bats Schierholtz has even taken in a single season was 362 back in 2011, and he hit nine homers with 41 RBIs and 61 strikeouts. And that was the best year of his career.
Here are Schierholtz’s numbers from last season where he spilt time between the Giants and Phillies. All stats come courtesy of baseball-reference.com.
PLATOONING PLAN OR BUST:
My guess is that the Yankees would like to platoon Schierholtz and Ichiro Suzuki, which is not great at all especially when you consider what could have been.
But this platoon could be a problem, as according to the New York Post, Ichiro has grown impatient with the Yankees lack of interest. And Ichiro’s agent also confirmed that his client is fielding offers from other ball-clubs now, which is never a good start to a re-signing.
Ichiro was the only productive hitter in the 2012 postseason so it is shocking that the Yankees have been so silent considering all their pitching is squared away.
Ideally having Ichiro and Gardner at the corners is not thrilling but when a team is hell-bent on only offering one-year deals to players their choices become very limited.
So if Ichiro does sign elsewhere, the Yankees can blame themselves for digging an even deeper hole.
The only thing the Yankees have effectively done this off-season is get worse, especially with all the upgrades the other AL East teams are making.
The Yankees will miss the 2013 postseason if something doesn’t give soon.