Nate Schierholtz Rumors
The Royals' rotation has a 5.42 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 this year, and they're averaging barely five innings per start. As ESPN.com’s Buster Olney explains, the Royals are perusing the market for starting pitchers who could help now and in the future. Here are the details:
- The Royals have indicated to other teams that they believe they’re about two years away from being serious contenders. They’re looking for starters who could be obtained now and kept for a couple more seasons.
- The Red Sox are also more interested in adding long-term pieces than two-month rentals, Olney writes. While there’s no indication the Red Sox are willing to trade Jon Lester, some wonder whether the left-hander would benefit from a change of scenery.
- One GM suggested Ryan Dempster would be better off avoiding trades to American League teams this summer. Dempster, a lifelong National Leaguer, can veto any trade. An agent agreed that Dempster would be better off in a pitcher-friendly environment. "If he gets hit hard, it'll cost him," the agent told Olney. The Dodgers are viewed as the favorites to acquire Dempster, who will hit free agency after the season.
- Olney suggests Nate Schierholtz could be a nice addition for the Yankees. The Giants outfielder has said he’d be open to a trade.
Here is the latest from baseball's two West divisions...
- "We have nothing significant or imminent at this time. We're just doing our due diligence," said Angels GM Jerry Dipoto to reporters (including Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times) today (Twitter link). Check out today's Angels rumors right here.
- Although he has not officially requested a trade, Nate Schierholtz indicated to Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle that he is ready to move on to a team with that can offer a greater opportunity. "There's not one thing I can't say I love about this place, but I think I've come to the realization that maybe I'm not their guy. I'm not in the cards having a future here," said the Giants outfielder.
- The Rangers are focused on Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke, but Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com hears that the team's long-shot backup plan involves trading for Cliff Lee again. Lee's contract is an obstacle, plus the Phillies indicated that they're not looking to move their veteran lefty ace.
- Scott Miller of CBSSports.com hears that the Padres may keep Carlos Quentin and try to re-sign him after the season. The Reds, Indians, Pirates, and Marlins have all inquired about his availability.
The 2011 Giants closely resembled last year’s World Championship team, but change lies ahead for San Francisco. Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle explains that health considerations and the rising cost of arbitration eligible players will shape next year’s Giants team. Here are some highlights from Schulman's piece:
- Pat Burrell could again sign a one-year deal when he hits free agency after the season (he earns $1MM this year), but he may have to retire because of a foot injury. Burrell says he’ll play as long as he’s healthy enough to take the field.
- Schulman says it’s hard to imagine the Giants offering Cody Ross a raise from $6.3MM or agreeing to a multiyear deal when the outfielder hits free agency.
- Mark DeRosa is hoping to sign closer to Atlanta, where he makes his home, and realizes he may be in line for a minor league deal.
- The Giants will probably decline Jeremy Affeldt’s $5MM option for 2012, but they’ll “almost certainly” pursue him in free agency, according to Schulman.
- Jonathan Sanchez and Andres Torres are non-tender candidates. When MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes identified Sanchez and Torres as non-tender candidates last month, he pointed out that Sanchez’s salary would rise over $6MM (he now earns $4.8MM) through arbitration.
- Eli Whiteside is another non-tender candidate, Schulman writes.
- Jeff Keppinger, who’s arbitration eligible, will likely return in 2012 and it’s hard to imagine the Giants cutting Nate Schierholtz after seeing him progress in 2011.
- The Giants may not have room on the roster for both Mike Fontenot and Emmanuel Burriss.
The Giants are letting teams know outfielder Nate Schierholtz is available, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Andres Torres might come off the DL soon after recovering from a sore Achilles tendon, perhaps leaving the out of options Schierholtz without a spot.
In Schierholtz, Pat Burrell, Darren Ford, Cody Ross, and Aaron Rowand, the Giants currently have five outfielders on the active roster. The Giants could retain Schierholtz by just sending down Darren Ford, who was recalled when Torres went on the DL.
There's also the question of whether Rowand has more value to the Giants than Schierholtz. The 33-year-old Rowand is off to a tolerable start in 69 plate appearances after his ugly 2010, and is owed $22.3MM through the 2012 season. Schierholtz has only 31 plate appearances, and has not produced.
Schierholtz, 27, was known to be on the bubble in March, but the Giants ended up outrighting Travis Ishikawa instead. Schierholtz appears to have defensive value, and has shown promise offensively at Triple-A.
The Giants have a pair of out of options position players on the bubble in Nate Schierholtz and Travis Ishikawa. According to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, "Schierholtz could be the easiest and most likely to be dealt. Perhaps soon."
Schierholtz, a right fielder, is trying to break into an outfield that already features more expensive players such as Cody Ross, Andres Torres, Pat Burrell, Mark DeRosa, and perhaps Aaron Rowand. And don't forget top prospect Brandon Belt, who could force Aubrey Huff to left field or play there himself. Just for good measure, Ishikawa is playing a little outfield this spring.
The 27-year-old Schierholtz has failed to produce in 758 scattered big league plate appearances. He has, at least, shown the ability to hit for average, power, and a strong contact rate in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Going back to the Baseball America 2008 Handbook, Schierholtz "plays a strong right field and has an above-average, accurate arm." He would have been a more interesting player for the Royals to try in right field than Jeff Francoeur, and could make sense for the Phillies currently.
Trading Rowand would alleviate the Giants' outfield logjam slightly, but Baggarly says there's nothing cooking on that front. Rowand is a release candidate in my mind, unless there's a team willing to pick up a couple million bucks of the $24MM owed to him for 2011-12.
Baggarly notes that both Schierholtz and Ishikawa could be on the outs if Belt makes the team. On Friday, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that the situations of Rowand, Ishikawa, and Schierholtz will not be big factors in the Belt decision. Belt's service time might be a consideration, not that the team would admit that publicly. If the Giants can survive the season's first nine games without Belt, they can delay his free agency by a year.
The Giants and Cubs discussed a trade that would have sent Kosuke Fukudome to San Francisco for Aaron Rowand, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (all Twitter links). The bad contract swap appears to be a "long shot," however. If they can't trade Rowand, the Giants may listen to offers for Nate Schierholtz, according to Crasnick.
Cubs GM Jim Hendry pulled off a successful bad contract swap last offseason when he sent Milton Bradley to Seattle for Carlos Silva. Pulling off another such trade will be tricky, though. Rowand will earn $24MM through 2012 and Fukudome will become a free agent after earning $13.5MM in 2011, so the contracts are not perfect matches. Rowand has a limited no-trade clause and Fukudome has no-trade protection, so a potential deal could require the players' approval.