Chicago Cubs' Alfonso Soriano (12) greets Nate Schierholtz at home after the pair scored on Schierholtz's two-run home run off St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 7, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
The Texas Rangers have been serious players at the MLB trade deadline since Jon Daniels became the club's general manager, and this year will be no different. Let's take a look at a possible Rangers target for the July 31 deadline.
Target: Nate Schierholtz, OF, Chicago Cubs
On Monday, the Rangers' front office let it be known that they most likely won't be in on any more moves prior to Wednesday's trade deadline since acquiring starting pitcher Matt Garza from the Chicago Cubs last week — the top arm on the market.
While that very well could be true, don't be shocked if the Rangers still try to acquire a bat, ideally a right-handed one. The Rangers' offense has been unquestionably bad for much of the season, and it's been magnified since the all-star break, including a 26-inning scoreless streak that was ended in the sixth inning of Monday's walk-off win over the Angels.
The only problem is, there don't seem to be any big "wow" impact bats available. The Rangers inquire about Giancarlo Stanton with the Miami Marlins, reportedly on a weekly basis, but he's not available. Same goes for Michael Cuddyer of the Colorado Rockies. The Rangers have interest in Hunter Pence, but apparently the San Francisco Giants' asking price for the rental is sky-high because they want to make him a qualifying offer this winter.
That's where Schierholtz fits in. He'd be cheap, and while he wouldn't give the Rangers the right-handed bat they covet, the team could platoon Schierholtz (a lefty) and his former Cubs teammate Jeff Baker (who crushes lefties) in left field and relegate David Murphy to fourth-outfielder duties.
You know how Baker kills left-handed pitching? Well, Schierholtz does the same against righties. This season, in platoon duty, he's hitting .274 with 14 homers and 43 RBIs. Those two combined, if healthy, could provide numbers equal to or better than someone like Alex Rios or even Pence.