Nate Schierholtz signed a one-year, $2.25 million deal with the Cubs in December 2012, with $500,000 of incentives.
And he had a very good year with the team in 2013, hitting a career-high 21 home runs. He also set career highs in runs, doubles, RBI and walks and hit .251/.301/.470. He posted 1.5 bWAR. This was all very good production for a team that lost 96 games.
He re-signed with the Cubs for 2014, a $5 million deal, but when Schierholtz got off to a bad start in 2014, he was benched and eventually granted his unconditional release in August. He spent a few weeks with the Nationals, went to 2015 spring training with the Rangers before being let go at the end of camp and playing 65 games with Hiroshima in NPB last year.
This year, he went to camp with the Tigers and was again released in May after spending 46 games at Triple-A Toledo.
Friday, Major League Baseball announced that Schierholtz was given an 80-game suspension after testing positive for Ibutamoren, a growth hormone secretagogue and performance-enhancing substance, in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
It's really a shame. Schierholtz seemed like a good guy when he was a Cub. I saw his dad in the bleachers at Wrigley on several occasions; he was photographing Nate while he played, and I also saw Nate's dad in Oakland in July 2013, doing the same thing.
Schierholtz is 32, and having been released by four teams in the last two years, his professional career is likely over. MLB's press release says the suspension would take effect if he signs with another team.