Cincinnati Reds agree to 2-year contract with Skip Schumaker

Oct 3, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Skip Schumaker (55) hits an RBI sacrifice fly against the Atlanta Braves in the second inning of game one of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Apparently, there is a serious need for utility infielder/outfielder types on the MLB free agent market this off-season.

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).

Topics: Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers, Skip Schumaker

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  • Aaron Somers

    His value is tied into his defensive versatility (first base, second base, and all three outfield positions) and his platoon splits (he’s historically hit righties better than lefties) – which makes him valuable coming off the bench. He’s also allegedly the prototypical “good clubhouse guy”. Is he worth a two year deal? It all depends on the money. He pulled in just south of $2 Million this past season so you figure he likely found a raise from that amount (though not necessarily a large one). We might be talking two years for $5-6 Million total here for a decent bench option – which makes sense given the question marks that the Reds still face with their roster.
    That said, Schumaker’s never been anything special. He’s been a slightly above-average player on a handful of good teams.

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