MLB Trade Rumors: Cubs could move Nate Schierholtz, Yankees should have interest

Jim McIsaac

ESPN's Buster Olney writes (subs. required) that the Chicago Cubs could be ready to start selling off their valuable pieces. Most of the pieces that the Cubs have to offer in a trade aren't of real consequence to the YankeesKevin Gregg, Scott Feldman, and Matt Garza are nice pieces for the right team, but don't represent a place where the Yankees are in desperate need. However, there is one player who would fit in to the Yankees' needs perfectly, and that's Nate Schierholtz.

Schierholtz was connected to the Yankees this offseason, and even then it seemed like he'd be a perfect fit for what New York was looking for. He received a $2.25 million dollar deal for one year from the Cubs, which the Yankees should have been willing to match before they resorted two a two-year deal for Ichiro Suzuki. Now that the Cubs are punting on 2013, the Yankees have another chance to boost their offensive production with outfield help. In 61 games for Chicago this season, Schierholtz has hit .288/.338/.545 with nine home runs. He's struggled against lefties, but killed right-handers to the tune of a 148 wRC+.

Consider that the option is a likely platoon of Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells once Curtis Granderson is healthy and the Schierholtz option begins to look a lot better. Even though Suzuki has had streaks of good hitting this season, his 77 wRC+ is not really anything to write home about. Using him wisely would be platooning him with a strong bat against right-handers like Schierholtz's to maximize production. Trusting Wells to recover from his free fall seems like a pipe dream at this point.

The Cubs also have Alfonso Soriano and David DeJesus to offer, but it seems like Schierholtz would easily be the best option of the three. Chicago will be looking for pieces for the future, which would mean dipping into the farm to acquire him, but he's not young enough or under contract for long enough to require too much in terms of prospects. Would you pull the trigger if you were the Yankees?

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