Jul 13, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago White Sox right fielder Alex Rios (51) walks onto the field in the eleventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies during game one of a doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park. The White Sox defeated the Phillies, 5-4 in eleven innings. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Trade Rumors: Pirates still looking at deals for Rios, Schierholtz

With the 2013 MLB All-Star Game now in the books, all eyes will be focused on the upcoming MLB Trade Deadline; more specifically what Pittsburgh Pirates’ general manager Neal Huntington will or will not do to try and improve his team for what promises to be an exciting stretch run.

With that being said, the Pirates are still being linked to a few players, all in the city of Chicago.

Jun 27, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

As I have reported in the past, the Pirates have been linked to right fielders Alex Rios of the Chicago White Sox and Nate Schierholtz of the Chicago Cubs. According to Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune, the Bucs are “studying deals” for both players and Rogers thinks that Huntington may pull the trigger on a deal soon.

Looking to upgrade in right field, the Pirates are studying deals for Nate Schierholtz and Alex Rios. It is possible that they’ll make a move sooner rather than later, as they are tied for the NL Central lead while last in OPS at the position (slash line of .239/.302/.377 from seven right fielders, with Travis Snider getting the most playing time).

Personally I don’t like the thought of a Rios deal very much.

He’s not too much of an upgrade over Jose Tabata, especially the way Tabata has performed since coming off the disabled list a couple of weeks ago. Then there is the fact that the 32-year-old outfielder is still owed $13.5 million after this season.

The 29-year old Schierholtz is a bit more intriguing as he could come cheaper and would form a nice platoon with Tabata in right field, as Schierholtz has a superb .862 OPS against right-handed pitchers this season. However after a very nice first three months of the season, Schierholtz has hit a wall in July hitting only .138 (4-for-29) with no RBI and only a .472 OPS.

That comes after a month of June in which he posted a .969 OPS.

Schierholtz is making only $2.75 million this season and would be arbitration eligible next season, although he wouldn’t likely command a big raise.

My initial thoughts are that while the Bucs could use some upgrades offensively, neither guy is going to make a great impact on this team and I would be hesitant to give up much of anything for either guy.

I wouldn’t jump into a deal for either guy now, but I would keep an eye on how Schierholtz performs after the All-Star break. if he heats up he could be an upgrade to the Pirates bench, but in the bigger scheme of things I would rather see Huntington let the market play out and see if anything else develops closer to the deadline.

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Tags: Alex Rios Chicago Cubs Chicago White Sox Mlb Trade Rumors Nate Schierholtz Neal Huntington Pittsburgh Pirates

  • thebucs1909

    How can you say that Rios isn’t an upgrade over tabata? He has much more power and is a true five tool player. He has 19 steals to go with 11 homers. Tabata is injury prone, and is a pure singles hitter. Would you rather have a guy with power, average, and speed, or a guy with a little speed and no power? Most of Tabata’s hits are infield singles or little bloop hits. He is a horrendous defender too with no arm. Do you really trust Tabata in the post season? As for Schierholtz, they don’t need another platoon. The first base platoon is working badly as of late, as jones has been in a slump the last 2 months and Sanchez isn’t exactly great either. So here’s what they need, Rios in right, and maybe a first baseman or shortstop like Ramirez. That would get them out of their offensive slump.

    • Joe W.

      You are asking the wrong question. Is it worth the cost?

      Rios is an ‘upgrade’ and fairly well established (meaning you have a pretty good idea what he is going to do in the AL at least). decent at the plate and good fielder. Rios is 32 and has a large contract, something like 13mil next year

      Tabata is nearing 25 has played in 1/4th the amount of games as Rios and hasn’t shown the power that Rios has however his avg and OBP is fairly comparable. Tabata has decent range and a strong arm but has made some horrible fielding choices (like where to throw the ball). Tabata’s contract is much lower in the neighborhood of 3mil next year.

      Is it worth another $13 million in payroll Rios? Is it worth the prospects they will be asking for? To me, not even close considering that Tabata can play. Also Polanco may make an appearance sooner than later.

      Ramirez on the other hand would be a huge upgrade overall. If the Sox insist on a package of Ramirez and Rios… then yeah I would be extremely interested but if looking just at right field.. i would hold out and see if Miami decides to part with Stanton.

      I agree with your opinion about 1B too. IMO First and Short are bigger issues than Right in both batting and fielding.

      • thebucs1909

        While I don’t disagree with you entirely, I would say that Right field is a bigger issue than short or first. I would like Ramirez, but I don’t think that he is that big of an upgrade over Mercer. Rios can steal, he has the most outfield assists of anyone in the American league, he has a great glove with only 2 errors I believe, A decent average and some great power. If the pirates can get Rios and keep Polanco, it will be a bigger upgrade over Tabata. Lets face it, Tabata is not a great player. He is a bad fielder, and all he hits is singles and can’t steal many bases. He should be in the leadoff spot if he is going to play right, because he can’t drive in right. I think Rios is a much bigger upgrade over Tabata, but that’s just my opinion. I’m entitled to mine just as you are to yours.

        • Joe W.

          Rios has 3 errors this year in 95 games played, Tabata has 0 errors in 42 games. I agree Rios is overall better right NOW, but over all I personally don’t think it is worth the cost to get him.

    • shet

      I’m not saying that Rios isn’t a better player than Tabata. What I am suggesting is that the price to pay for him is going to be significant and he really isn’t that big up an upgrade across the board. Tabata .767 OPS, Rios .747. Now sure tabata has had less at bats, but for the price they are going to have to pay, I need to see a significantly better player than Rios

  • Matthew Glen Schnars

    I give up the top prospect for Stanton this owner will not make the deal

    • thebucs1909

      The marlins are the ones who won’t make the trade, not the pirates.

      • Matthew Glen Schnars

        nutting doesnt like pay big money or give up top prospects