It had been reported that the Cubs were looking for a right fielder at the Winter Meetings, and Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer found their man this evening when they signed former Giant and Phillies outfielder Nate Schierholtz to a one-year deal worth $2.25 million, with an extra $500,000 in incentives. Schierholz reportedly turned down a two-year deal from another team to sign with the Cubs. Other teams interested in him were reportedly the Yankees, Mets, Orioles, Rays and Red Sox.
Schierholtz spent most of his career with the Giants before he was traded to Philadelphia this past season as part of the Hunter Pence deal. Schierholtz is a left-handed hitting right fielder who has a career line of .270/.319/.409. That doesn't sound too good, but considering he spent most of his career at AT&T Park, which is death to left-handed hitters, it's not bad. Last season the 28 year-old Schierholtz hit .257/.321/.407 in 114 games combined between San Francisco and Philadelphia. He actually hit a little better with the Giants than he did with the Phillies.
Since I live in California and watch a lot of Giants games when the Cubs aren't playing, I've seen Schierholtz play a lot. He's a solid right fielder with an excellent arm and he played the very difficult right field at AT&T without too much difficulty. He's mostly a line drive hitter who can occasionally drive one out. He doesn't walk very much. Schierholtz was also a very popular player in the Giants clubhouse, from all accounts.
His true role is that of a fourth outfielder and a bat off the bench, but he should start until the Cubs deem Brett Jackson ready to take over in center field. Once that happens, Schierholtz will return to the fourth outfielder job that he's actually pretty good at. Schierholtz is an excellent bat off the bench. In 144 career pinch-hitting appearances, Schierholtz is hitting .307/.347/.420.