Has a Healthy Ryan Kalish Sped Up the Cubs Timeframe on Dealing Nate Schierholtz?

The Cubs figure to turn several short term assets into multiple long term pieces before the July 31 trade deadline. It is highly unlikely that players such as Carlos Villanueva and Jose Veras are with the team on August 1 and that was thought to be the case with Nate Schierholtz.

The Cubs’ right fielder is a free agent after the season. Schierholtz agreed to an affordable $5 million contract for the 2014 season to avoid arbitration. And he is coming off a career-year in which he hit .251/.301/.470 with a career-high .770 OPS. Schierholtz recorded 32 doubles, three triples and 21 home runs while playing above-average defense in the outfield. But what might make Schierholtz more than appealing to a contending team is the .262/.300/.499 slash line against right handed pitching. Schierholtz has played in six games this spring and is 4-for-16 with a double, a home run and two walks.

Ryan Kalish signed a minor league contract with the Cubs this winter. Kalish reported to camp ready to compete for a job. Kalish says he is healthy for the first time in three years, and was reportedly ticketed for Triple-A Iowa to start the season. Kalish has appeared in five games this spring and he is 2-for-11 with three walks, four runs scored and two stolen bases (.182/.357/.182).

Jon Paul Morosi reported Monday night that Nate Schierholtz “could be available via trade as a result of Ryan Kalish’s progress.” Morosi is not sure if the Tigers would be interested in trading for Schierholtz or not. According to multiple rumors during the winter, the Cubs were listening to offers for Nate Schierholtz but did not receive what they were looking for and decided to hold on to him until July.

Ryan Kalish turns 26 this month (March 25) and it feels like a long time ago in which he was considered one of the top prospects in the game. Scouts once thought Kalish would hit for average in the big leagues while supplying 15-20 home runs a year from the left side of the plate, which sounds pretty much like Nate Schierholtz. But Kalish is four years younger and more athletic with a higher upside, plus he would fit into the Cubs’ plans moving forward.

If the Cubs feel Ryan Kalish has recovered from cervical fusion surgery, opening a spot on the 40-man roster for him while dealing Nate Schierholtz for other players that could add inventory to the system would be the right move for the organization.

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  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    I’d like the move as I’ve stated that I think a truly healthy Kalish could be a gap Bridget for us or maybe more. But I think talk like this is premature. Kalish has gotten on base but I’d like to see him get a few more hits first an carry it into season before Schierholtz is declared expendable. He plays a role and if some of the others like Rizzo and Castro have improved ten Nate wil definitely let us be a more watchable team.

    • Tony_H

      I agree on that and am sure they will wait until later in ST to make a trade if they do it before the season starts.

      Sweeney or Ruggiano could move over to RF with Lake/Kalish covering LF/CF and Bonifacio filling in the gap if they wanted to go all righty or lefty. It would actually be the same type of rotation as before, with Bonifacio being the swing guy as well. Schierholtz is most likely gone by the trade deadline this year one way or another.

      • cubtex

        does it really matter who they put out there? Kalish,BJax,Schierholtz,Sweeney??? Not going to make the team any more or less competitive.

        • Tony_H

          Well since you pointed out it won’t make much difference short term, maybe you will see the long term. Getting something for Schierholtz (I am not going to get into what they get back at this point) is taking a short term asset and converting it into a long term asset. Plus, Kalish is about to turn 26, where Schierholtz is 30. Plus Schierholtz is who he is, not much projection left, whereas Kalish has projection left.

          All in all, IF Kalish can fill one of the 4 main OF roster spots and they can move Schierholz in a trade, it is all positive things for the Cubs.

          • cubtex

            Just like the return DeJesus had. Schierholtz has minimal value. I am for trading Schierholtz and I would be happy with a cash return just like DeJesus. At least that is usable :)

          • Tony_H

            Schieroltz has something DeJesus didn’t have, power.

          • cubtex

            He had a terrible 2nd half and is considered a platoon like a Ruggiano and we see what kind of value Ruggiano had. Won’t expect more than a bag of balls.

          • Eugene Debs

            I have to agree with cubtex on this one. Schierholtz does not have the sort of trade value that will yield much more than a fringe prospect or two. Maybe you trade him to clear a spot for someone or to save a nickel or two (we call that “rolling forward the savings”) but we will not add significant “inventory” for a #4 outfielder best platooned.

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  • mutantbeast

    Hmm-Tigers-maybe Nate S for Porcello., whom Im sure can benefit from a better defensive team and getting out of the AL?

    • cubtex

      hahaha. not a chance.

    • cubtex

      If Theo can get Rick Porcello for Nate Schierholtz..I will personally praise Theo and kiss his feet :)))

  • jtrain23

    At least exploring a Schierholtz trade makes sense. He could potentially provide some injury protection or be a good 4th outfielder for a contender. I don’t know what the possible return is for a guy like Schierholtz. I would assume it is pretty low.

    However, you would think that it is as high as it will ever be right now or early in the season. We can assume he will not out perform his 2013 season. His play down the stretch indicates exactly the opposite. So, if the Cubs can get usable play from Kalish, get what you can for Schierholtz.

    • cubtex

      good points. I agree. His value is not much and won’t get any higher by holding onto him.

  • Eugene Debs

    He’s burning up the stat sheet with a sub .200 average.

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