Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake announces on Twitter that the club has signed outfielder Nate Schierholtz to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Schierholtz will earn a $1.75 million salary should he make the major league roster.
Schierholtz, 31 on February 15, spent last season with the Cubs and Nationals, finishing with an aggregate .195/.243/.309 slash line along with seven home runs and 37 RBI in 383 plate appearances. Overall, though, he’s typically been much more productive with the bat and is regarded as a decent defensive player.
The defending AL East-champion Orioles have been linked in recent weeks to free agent outfielders like Norichika Aoki and Colby Rasmus, but Aoki signed with the Giants on Monday and Rasmus agreed to a deal Tuesday with the Astros. So, what now?
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets that the O’s have been “in contact this winter” with free agent Nate Schierholtz, adding that he’s someone the club has “courted” before. Connolly also says the Orioles could revisit their interest in Ichiro Suzuki, who remains without a contract for his age-41 season.
Schierholtz hit just .195/.243/.309 with seven homers and 37 RBI in 122 games last season between the Cubs and Nationals, but he had 21 homers and 68 RBI in 137 games for Chicago in 2013. He turns 31 next month.
MLB.coms’ Joe Frisaro reports that the Marlins are searching for a fourth outfielder, ideally one who bats from the left side. Coincidentally, they have four main targets: Ichiro Suzuki, Nate Schierholtz, Andy Dirks, and Will Venable.
Suzuki, Schierholtz, and Dirks are free agents. Venable, 32, can become a free agent after the season. He has lost his spot in the Padres’ outfield after they traded for Justin Upton, Wil Myers, and Matt Kemp.