Cubs sign Nate Schierholtz to one-year, $2.25M contract

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From ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick comes word that the Cubs agreed to a one-year contract on Wednesday night with free agent outfielder Nate Schierholtz.

Financial terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed.

Schierholtz attracted a pretty strong market after being non-tendered in late November by the Phillies, at one point drawing interest from nine different teams — the Yankees included. But the Cubs, who need outfield insurance in case top prospect Brett Jackson isn’t quite ready to make the jump, apparently came in with the best offer.

Schierholtz hit .257/.321/.407 with six home runs and 21 RBI in 269 plate appearances this past season between San Francisco and Philadelphia. The 28-year-old is a .270/.319/.409 career hitter in MLB.

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UPDATE, 9:45 PM: Crasnick says the deal is worth $2.25 million and carries $500,000 in incentives.

Yu Darvish suffers setback during rehab start

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Cubs starter Yu Darvish suffered a setback during Sunday’s rehab start with Low-A South Bend, The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg reports. Darvish threw just 19 pitches in the first inning and felt fine. However, when he took the mound to warm up ahead of the second inning, Darvish “felt something” in his injured right elbow. He exited the game to undergo an MRI.

Darvish’s condition isn’t yet known, but it’s obviously bad news. Darvish signed a six-year, $126 million contract in February and has made just eight starts this season. He owns a 4.95 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 21 walks in 40 innings and hasn’t pitched since May 20.

Darvish said he hopes to return before the end of the regular season to help the team. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein is realistic about the situation. He said, “It’s a process. We’ll see how he feels. It’s been a long road back, so there’s no point in rushing it now. We probably have one chance given where we are on the calendar to get this right, so that’s the priority.”

Mike Montgomery has pitched out of the rotation in Darvish’s place but he is also currently on the disabled list. Tyler Chatwood, with a 5.22 ERA and 93 walks in 101 2/3 innings, was booted from the rotation at the end of July after the Cubs acquired Cole Hamels. The Cubs, entering Sunday 20 games over .500 and fewer than five games ahead of the Cardinals and Brewers in the NL Central, need some reliability at the back of the rotation.