The Reds made a move to add to their bench, officially announcing the signing of Skip Schumaker to a two-year contract. A client of CAA Sports' Nez Balelo, Schumaker will reportedly be guaranteed $5MM over the life of the deal, and the contract includes a $2.5MM club option for a third season with a $500K buyout. Schumaker will earn $2MM in 2014 and $2.5MM in 2015.
Schumaker, who turns 34 in Februrary, slashed .263/.332/.332 in 356 plate appearances for the Dodgers in 2013. Though he offers positional flexibility — he appeared at second base and all three outfield positions this season — Schumaker does not play any one position particularly well. He posted negative UZR and DRS marks at all four of his positions in 2013 and has registered negative defensive value each season since 2008, according to Fangraphs.
Even if he isn't a gifted defender though, Schumaker will give new Reds manager Bryan Price a versatile piece off his bench that has slashed a respectable .279/.347/.357 against right-handed pitching over the past two seasons. A veteran of nine big league seasons between the Cardinals and Dodgers, Schumaker is a career .285/.344/.372 hitter in 3,043 plate appearances.
This is the second two-year deal issued by GM Walt Jocketty in the young offseason. Cincinnati has already agreed to a two-year deal with backstop Brayan Pena. Cheap multiyear deals for bench pieces are nothing new for Jocketty, who has guaranteed multiple years to Miguel Cairo and Jack Hannahan in recent years.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the two-year agreement (on Twitter), and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported the $5MM guarantee (also on Twitter). MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reported that the contract contained an option and provided the financial breakdown.