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Free agent Schierholtz piques Yanks' interest

Free agent Schierholtz piques Yanks' interest

Free agent Schierholtz piques Yanks' interest
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Yankees have expressed interest in free-agent outfielder Nate Schierholtz, potentially as part of a platoon for a corner-outfield spot.

Schierholtz, who will turn 29 in February, played last season with the Giants and Phillies, batting a combined .257 with six home runs and 21 RBIs in 269 at-bats over 114 games.

He was non-tendered by the Phillies last week after earning $1.3 million and has hoped for an opportunity as an everyday player, but the left-handed hitter was limited to just 37 games with Philadelphia in 2012 after being acquired in a deal involving outfielder Hunter Pence.

Schierholtz is a career .270 hitter over six big league seasons, and though he owns just 24 Major League home runs, his power numbers could be helped by Yankee Stadium's short right-field porch.

The Yankees have Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson in two of their outfield slots and are seeking a replacement for switch-hitting right fielder Nick Swisher, who is expected to leave as a free agent.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that if he pursues a left-handed-hitting outfielder like Schierholtz, he would also be chasing a right-handed-hitting outfielder.

"If we did that, we'd need two outfield bats -- one from the right side, one from the left side," Cashman said on Tuesday. "If we wanted to put another left-handed bat in, and it's all three left-handed outfielders, I would say focus on me adding another right-handed bat, too, in the Andruw Jones category."

Jones is not expected to return after a poor season with the Yankees, but the club has shown interest in right-handed-hitting free-agent outfielder Scott Hairston, who enjoyed success against left-handed pitching this past season with the Mets.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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