The trade deadline is fast approaching the Cubs have already done quite a bit of heavy lifting. Â Matt Garza is off to pie people in Texas in the face. Â Alfonso Soriano is the third youngest Yankee. Â Scott Hairston it…wait, was he ever really even on the team?
So, with little more than a day to go, who are the Cubs still looking to trade?
Kevin Gregg is being shopped…hard. Â The Cubs grabbed him off the scrap heap and he pitched well, until recently when he started to turn back into Kevin Gregg The Oblong Pumpkin. Â I know teams get desperate at the trade deadline, but, Kevin Gregg?
James Russell is drawing interest, he’s a good, steady, young lefty reliever. Â Those are, apparently, hard to find.
Teams can hardly control themselves trying to get a shot at Luis Valbuena, but it’s hard to believe the Cubs will find any team that can match their exorbitant asking price of two future Hall of Famers.
So what about Nate Schierholtz? Â Nate was one of the best bargain signings of the offseason. Â A strong defensive right fielder with decent speed, and a lefty bat who crushes righthanded pitching. Â He’s got an .857 OPS and a 129 OPS plus. Â He’s 29, only carries a $2.5 million salary and has a year of arbitration left.
So why would the Cubs want to trade him?
My advanced math tells me he’s 29, so he’ll be 30 next year, and 31 when the Cubs figure to be serious contenders. Â Chances are they can find a better right fielder by them who is far younger. Â Because he’s a platoon player, it makes it less likely he’ll be in the everyday mix in any of the outfield spots.
Also, despite a strong year like this one he’s only getting on base at a .334 clip. Â At some point the Cubs have to back up their stated organizational philosophy of avoiding outs.
He’s got value now. Â The Pirates, for one, could use a right fielder, though Jose Tabata wouldn’t make much of a platoon partner, considering the right handed hitter is actually hitting righties better than lefties (.267 v. .220), though he’s not slugging very well against anybody (.370 SLG).
Fact is, this figures to the absolute height of Nate Schierholtz’s trade value…ever. Â He’s had a good year, he’s had an especially good two weeks leading up to the deadline, he’s got another year of team control, he’s cheap and he’s still lefthanded.