SAN FRANCISCO -- Fans in both Giants and Cubs jerseys were asking Nate Schierholtz for his autograph prior to Friday's game at AT&T Park. Many San Francisco fans remember his contributions to the Giants, whom he played his entire career with until last July 31 when he was traded to the Phillies for Hunter Pence.
"It was awesome playing here and being on a couple winning teams," Schierholtz said.
How long he will stay with the Cubs is something else. Teams looking for a left-handed-hitting outfielder who will deliver with runners on and can play solid defense are scouting Schierholtz.
"I haven't spent a second thinking about [being traded]," he said Friday. "Every year, you hear so many names thrown around. ... I can't control it. If you go a week worrying about it and you don't get traded, it's a lot of worry for nothing. I love it here, and I'd like to stay a Cub. Hopefully, I don't go anywhere."
He has set a career high in home runs and recorded his first five-RBI game Wednesday. It hasn't all been perfect as Schierholtz needed a cortisone shot in his shoulder at the All-Star break but said he's pain-free now.
Active Cubs pleased with moves, open to more
SAN FRANCISCO -- Since July 2, the Cubs have traded Scott Feldman, Scott Hairston, Carlos Marmol, Matt Garza and now Alfonso Soriano. Can manager Dale Sveum finally relax and breathe?
"I'm not exhaling yet," Sveum said Friday, chuckling. "I don't really see anything else happening but I think until that 11th hour is here, you don't relax. You don't dwell on it. For the most part, besides the Sori thing, everything else comes pretty quick and you don't have time to prepare."
The Cubs also were active last year at the Trade Deadline as president of baseball operations Theo Epstein began his efforts to restock the Minor League system. Trade rumors have followed Kevin Gregg and Nate Schierholtz, and the Deadline is less than one week away. Are the Cubs done dealing?
"There are some things we'd like to explore, and if we can find the right fit and bring value back to the organization, sure, we would be [interested]," Epstein said. "We've had a very active July. We set out to be proactive, especially with starting pitching. We wanted to jump the market a little and get the Feldman deal and the Garza deal done before more starting pitchers became available and flooded the market. That part of the strategy felt great.
"The Sori deal was something we were hoping to do if the timing was right and the fit was right."
The Cubs' farm system has more potential impact players than one year ago, many selected in the First-Year Player Draft as well as acquired through trades, and Epstein is still shopping.
Soriano's eight-year, $136 million contract was the largest ever given a Cubs player and signed when Jim Hendry was the general manager in November 2006. Would Epstein give a player a large contract like that? It depends on the player, he said.
"I'm of the belief that you're never one player away," Epstein said. "If you think you're one player away, you're getting desperate and asking for trouble. It's the single biggest factor in whether or not you have a chance to legitimately contend is the overall health of the organization. In time, the overall health of the organization, the overall talent of the organization will manifest iteself at the big league level with a little bit of patience."
The Cubs could someday add an impact player through free agency, he said. They're just not going to build around that.
"We'll know when the time is right, when the fit is right, when the player is right, when the value is right, when the impact of the player is profound for our ballclub," Epstein said. "Right now, our focus is on building the health of the organization and I feel great about the strides we've made."
Cubs promote reliever Sanchez from Triple-A
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Cubs, in need of a fresh arm in the bullpen, selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Eduardo Sanchez from Triple-A Iowa to take the spot on the active roster created by Alfonso Soriano's departure.
Sanchez, 24, was available for Friday's series opener against the Giants.
The right-hander was claimed off waivers from the Cardinals on May 21 and gone a combined 1-1 with one save and a 3.71 ERA in 28 relief appearances between Triple-A Iowa and Memphis. Since joining Iowa, he has limited opponents to a .195 batting average, including a .152 mark by right-handed hitters, and has not allowed a home run in 24 1/3 innings.
In his last 10 outings, Sanchez has given up two earned runs over 12 innings.
Sanchez made his Major League debut in 2011 with the Cardinals and was 3-1 with five saves and a 1.80 ERA in 26 relief appearances.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.