The Reds have made a series of moves to shape the club’s roster on the first day of the offseason, as the club announced. Cincinnati will decline its club options over righty Burke Badenhop and utilityman Skip Schumaker and has outrighted right-hander Sam LeCure.
Badenhop, 32, has long been a sturdy reliever. He joined the club on a one-year deal with an option that seemed likely to be exercised — it contained a $1.5MM buyout and $4MM value — but began and ended his season with rough stretches (at least in the earned run department). The first and last impressions didn’t help, but Badenhop also put up a 3.93 ERA that landed well above his recent years’ marks and did not impress ERA estimators along the way. Still, he ought to draw plenty of interest from teams looking for solid innings — especially if they are drawn to groundball producers.
The 35-year-old Schumaker had a two-year guarantee, but contributed just a .238/.297/.322 batting line over his 539 plate appearances over the last two years. That made it rather an easy decision to buy out his $2.5MM option for $500K. While Schumaker is valued for his defensive versatility, he’s rated well below replacement level for each of the past three seasons.
As for LeCure, who’s 31 years of age, 2015 was a major disappointment despite the fact that he carried a 3.15 ERA. That’s because he started the year in the minors and ultimately threw only twenty MLB frames. LeCure has continued to see his strikeout and swinging strike rates fall along with his velocity in recent seasons.
All told, it’s not exactly surprising to see Cincinnati parting with these kinds of veteran players, though it wouldn’t have cost much to retain them. The organization now has more youthful options in both the infield and the bullpen after its trade activity over the last year or so.