Apparently, there is a serious need for utility infielder/outfielder types on the MLB free agent market this off-season.
Sources: #Reds, free agent Skip Schumaker agree on two-year deal, pending physical.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 18, 2013
Of course, my initial statement was slightly in jest, but the fact that Ken Rosenthal (among others) is reporting a 2-year pact between former Dodger Skip Schumaker and the Cincinnati Reds is a bit surprising. The 34-year-old Schumaker is certainly a Major League quality player, having been a regular for the Cardinals over a half-decade and a significant contributor to the Dodgers last season, but in all frankness, I have no idea how he could have commanded a multi-year contract.
Schumaker put up a .263/.332/.332 slash line with 2 home runs in 356 plate appearances last season (yikes), and while he does provide positional flexibility between second base and the outfield, he has been recorded by advanced metrics as a below-average defensive asset in seven consecutive seasons. In fact, Schumaker hasn’t exceeded 1.0 fWAR since 2009, and actually was worse than replacement level during his playing time with LA last season.
In fairness to Schumaker, I actually do believe he’s worthy of a contract somewhere, but this is simply another in a long line of questionable moves for the stuck-in-the-mud Cincinnati Reds franchise that consistently allowed Dusty Baker to hit Zack Cozart in the 2-hole last season. On the bright side for fans of the Reds, he’s a gutty, gritty player (insert sarcasm here).