We’ve heard the Pirates connected to Nate Schierholtz a lot in the last few weeks. Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago says that the Cubs are pondering moves for several players, including Schierholtz. He doesn’t say that the Pittsburgh Pirates have been talking with the Cubs for Schierholtz, but he does say that the Pirates have been scouting the outfielder for the last 30 days.
Levine notes that Schierholtz isn’t a star player, but could fit in well as a left-hander in PNC Park. The Pirates would still need someone to hit left-handed hitters, since Schierholtz is more of a platoon player. However, he’s pretty much what you want Travis Snider or Jose Tabata to be, so he’d at least provide some security. It will be interesting to see if the Pirates turn to Schierholtz now that they’re cooling on Alex Rios. I don’t think Schierholtz provides a huge upgrade, but I do think if the price is right he does provide some comfort in right field. He is also under control through the 2014 season, so he could be a starting option until Gregory Polanco is ready, and then a really strong bench bat.
I profiled the trade value for Schierholtz a few weeks ago and had him worth a Grade B hitting prospect.
UPDATE 10:58 PM: Rob Biertempfel has a prediction from a scout earlier in the week.
Heard this from a scout last week: "#Pirates want Pence. They'll talk (trade) about Rios. And they'll end up with Schierholtz."
— Rob Biertempfel (@RobBiertempfel) July 31, 2013
I could see that happening.