Skip Schumaker Rumors
WEDNESDAY: The Dodgers announced the deal: Schumaker for Lemmerman.
TUESDAY: The Dodgers have acquired Skip Schumaker from the Cardinals, a source tells Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter). Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness first reported that the Dodgers would acquire Schumaker for minor league shortstop Jake Lemmerman.
Cards General Manager John Mozeliak recently acknowledged that Schumaker was a trade candidate. The 32-year-old will earn $1.5MM in 2013, the last year on his contract. The Twins were also reportedly interested in the left-handed hitter who owns a .345 career on-base percentage, but has struggled to hit lefties. The emergence of young talent in St. Louis ultimately led to Schumaker's exit after eight big league seasons.
Schumaker posted a .276/.339/.368 slash line last season in 304 plate appearances. The veteran has experience playing second base as well as all three outfield positions.
Lemmerman, 23, spent the 2012 season with the Dodgers' Double-A affiliate. The 2010 fifth round selection posted a .233/.347/.378 batting line in 449 plate appearances while playing shortstop and second base.
The Dodgers and Twins are among the teams that have some level of interest in Cardinals bench player Skip Schumaker, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. GM John Mozeliak acknowledged that Schumaker’s name has been out there as a potential trade candidate.
“We’ve tried to optimize the type of return we might get for him,” Mozeliak said. “We’ve left it fairly open. If we can get Major League help, we would definitely consider that. If we can’t find it we will look for someone who can fit into our minor league system.”
Schumaker, 32, will earn $1.5MM in 2013, the last year on his contract. As Goold notes, this seems reasonable given the escalating cost of infield help in free agency. Other than the Dodgers and Twins, the Reds could also be interested in Schumaker, a versatile player capable of playing second base and the outfield. The left-handed hitter has a .345 career on-base percentage, but he struggles to hit lefties.
The Dodgers are the favorite for Zack Greinke, which may be why they're shopping starters Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano. They're also fishing around for a player to pair with Hanley Ramirez on the left side of the infield. Other rumors around the team:
- The Dodgers are interested in Cardinals infielder Skip Schumaker, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.
- The Dodgers' offer to Ryu Hyun-jin "fell a tad short," GM Ned Colletti told reporters including Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times. Agent Scott Boras suggested Ryu could make the jump from South Korea to Japan if the Dodgers can't get a deal done, which Hernandez finds far-fetched since it is unprecedented. At any rate, Boras said he's presented the Dodgers with a counter-offer and negotiations continue.
A few NL Central free agent targets were identified today, as the Brewers and Cubs are in on Jason Grilli among other relievers, the Pirates have expressed interest in John Lannan, and the Cardinals are in the mix for Scott Hairston. More from the division...
- The Cardinals met with Marco Scutaro's agent tonight, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. Scutaro is represented by Barry Praver.
- Pirates GM Neal Huntington told reporters including Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "In our minds, we’ve already made our big move with Russ." The Bucs signed Russell Martin for $17MM last week, but still have some work to do. Biertempfel notes that the Pirates have shown interest in five recently non-tendered pitchers: Manny Parra, Lannan, Tom Gorzelanny, Jair Jurrjens, and Mike Pelfrey.
- There have been no substantive talks between the Cardinals and Adam Wainwright about an extension, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Cardinals, of course, still remain interested in doing an extension with the 31-year-old before his contract season officially begins.
- Most of the quality lefty relievers are likely to be signed by week's end, suggested Cardinals GM John Mozeliak (B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest reporting).
- The Cardinals and infielder Skip Schumaker are open to a trade, reports Rains, but of course it'd have to make sense for the team.
- The pressure of last summer's contract extension talks affected the performance of Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, agent Paul Kinzer told Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com. The 22-year-old can rest easy now that he's under contract through at least 2019.
- The Cubs remain popular with free agents, president Theo Epstein told reporters including Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The team is looking to get creative at third base and will continue to monitor the available starting pitchers (and presumably relievers). Epstein suggested the Cubs have interest in some recently non-tendered players.
Here's the latest from FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal as he dissects the buzz and rumors currently circulating around the league...
- The addition of two former members from the Rays organization has nothing to do with a potential pursuit of center fielder B.J. Upton, says Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr.
- While some teams may prefer Upton over Michael Bourn thanks to his age (nearly two years younger) and the ability to hit for power, Rosenthal points out that Bourn's value comes from being a well-rounded player.
- Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche's decision regarding his free agency may greatly impact Washington's course of action this offseason, especially with left fielder Michael Morse.
- The notion that the Dodgers may consider moving Andre Ethier just months after signing him to a five-year, $85MM contract simply wouldn't be the best move for Los Angeles heading into 2013, opines Rosenthal.
- Look for the Yankees to re-sign Russell Martin, but the Bombers have had their eye on free agent David Ross, who has served as Brian McCann's backup with the Braves since 2009.
- The Cardinals and second baseman Skip Schumaker may be parting ways this offseason as the veteran no longer has a defined role with the club thanks to the emergence of young talent.
Passing along a few notes from the Central divisions, where there was plenty of news earlier today. Kosuke Fukudome found a new home, the Brewers won an arbitration case, and the Royals picked up their manager's option. On with the links ...
- The Pirates may end up signing utility man Chris Gimenez, tweets Greg Johns of MLB.com. Gimenez elected free agency from the Mariners earlier today after declining an outright assignment to Triple-A and will be eligible to sign with a new club on Thursday.
- The Pirates will not sign Dmitri Young, whom they worked out at on Monday, according to Tom Singer of MLB.com.
- Phil Mackey of ESPN 1500 Twin Cities radio looks at seven of the Twins' intriguing non-roster players, including infielder Brian Dozier, third baseman Sean Burroughs, catchers J.R. Towles and Chris Herrmann, righties Jason Bulger and Jared Burton, and utility man Steve Pearce. One Twins executive said he's particularly curious about Bulger and Burton, tweets Mackey
- The Cardinals won't have their hand forced into roster decisions based on options this spring, explains Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, as only Skip Schumaker and Tyler Greene -- both projected to be on the Major League roster -- are out of options.
The Cardinals agreed to a two-year, $3MM deal with utility infielder Skip Schumaker, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN). Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch first reported that the sides were nearing a deal.
Schumaker posted a .283/.333/.351 line in 400 plate appearances while playing second base and all three outfield positions for the 2011 Cardinals (he also pitched in one game, striking out two of the five batters he faced). In seven seasons with St. Louis, the CAA client has a .290/.346/.378 line. The contract buys out Schumaker's final season of arbitration eligibility and first season of free agency. The 31-year-old was a non-tender candidate with a projected salary of $3.1MM.
Rafael Furcal is returning to St. Louis and the Cardinals have expressed interest in working Daniel Descalso and Tyler Greene into the lineup in 2012. The Cardinals non-tendered Ryan Theriot last night.
The Cardinals are going to keep discussions with Albert Pujols between the team, agent Dan Lozano and the three-time MVP himself, GM John Mozeliak said in Milwaukee today. If Pujols signs elsewhere, don't expect the Cardinals to pursue free agent first baseman Prince Fielder.
"I wouldn't envision that given the composition of our club with [Matt] Holliday, [Lance] Berkman and [Allen] Craig," he said. "Our hope again would be to find a way to keep Albert, but I wouldn't see going out on the market to do something else."
Mozeliak further broke down the Cardinals' roster in a conversation with MLBTR. Here are the details on the 2011 champions:
- Daniel Descalso, Tyler Greene, Skip Schumaker and Ryan Theriot are middle infield options for the Cardinals and they’d "be okay" entering the 2012 season with that group, Mozeliak said, before explaining that alternatives exist.
- "Before we get ahead of ourselves we want to make sure we explore other ways to improve," he said. "It doesn't necessarily mean [internal options] would be the best we can do." MLBTR projects a $3.9MM salary for Theriot and a $3.1MM salary for Schumaker in 2012, if the team offers arbitration. Both are non-tender candidates.
- The Cardinals like the defense Descalso and Greene offer.
- The Cardinals want to keep dialogue with Rafael Furcal open and they're also considering other options not currently on the roster.
The Brewers have gone 8-2 over their last 10 games to pull away in the NL Central race, currently leading by 8.5 games. There's more to this division than just the standings though, as shown in this collection of links:
- MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch has some quotes from Pirates GM Neal Huntington on top prospect Jameson Taillon. Huntington says that while the 2010 No. 2 overall pick's numbers aren't spectacular -- a 4.52 ERA through 79 2/3 innings -- he's been working heavily on his fastball command. Huntington says Taillon can overpower Low-A hitters with his breaking ball but has gotten hit trying to improve his heater.
- In the same piece, Langosch reports that Paul Maholm will see Dr. James Andrews for a second evaluation of his shoulder. Huntington cautions not to read too much into it, but Maholm's shoulder is worth keeping an eye on as it could impact a major financial decision; the Buccos hold a $9.75MM option on Maholm for 2012 that comes with a $750K buyout.
- Skip Schumaker's 2012 contract status is questionable, writes Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Cardinals could non-tender Schumaker this offeseason.
- In Nick Cafardo's Sunday column for the Boston Globe, he says that Major League owners are "wading through a lot of personal stuff" on prospective Astros buyer Jim Crane before approving him. Crane has had complaints filed against him in the past by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The Cardinals have slipped to eight games back of the Reds in the NL Central race, and the division title is looking increasingly out of reach for St. Louis. So rather than focusing on this season, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch previews the coming winter, asking a few questions about what the team's future holds. Here are some highlights of Strauss' piece:
- Locking up Albert Pujols is the club's top priority; the Cards will likely have trouble adding another impact bat until they know what sort of money they'll be committing to their top hitter for the next several years.
- "Strong opinion exists" at the major league level that the Cards' Triple-A and Double-A affiliates won't produce an impact position player for at least the next couple seasons. Strauss points out that the team hasn't signed many minor league free agents in recent years, and that the organization might have to rethink that strategy to provide depth and insurance for the big league roster.
- The Cards may need to look into acquiring more offense at its middle infield spots, since Brendan Ryan (.573 OPS) and Skip Schumaker (.680 OPS) have contributed very little at the plate.
- It's still up in the air whether Tony La Russa will be back to manage in St. Louis next season. If he does, there are questions about his relationship with Colby Rasmus. According to Strauss' club sources, Rasmus requested a trade earlier this year due to his frustrations with the Cards' skipper.