Reds Sign Skip Schumaker – What’s Next For Dodgers Infield?
The Cincinnati Reds signed versatile utilityman Skip Schumaker to a two-year contract, it was announced on Monday. Schumaker, 33, spent 2013 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he posted a slash line of .263/.332/.332 in 125 games while making appearances at second base (44 games), left field (35 games), center field (29 games), right field (18 games), designated hitter (one game) and pitcher (two games and two scoreless innings of mop-up work).
Schumaker’s departure from Los Angeles comes less than a week after the team lost utility infielder Nick Punto to a one-year deal with the Oakland A’s. With its two more than capable backup infielders having left for new organizations, the Dodgers may spend the rest of the offseason looking for more infield depth. Recently-signed Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero will provide a spark at second base, though it’s unclear at this point whether he will be ready to assume the starting role on Opening Day.
There’s also the issue of Juan Uribe to consider. The third baseman, coming off a solid contract season in 2013, is reportedly looking for a three-year contract.
#dodgers have interest in juan uribe. But so far he seeks a 3-yr deal. Even in thin 3B market, that’s probably a stretch.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 18, 2013
While Los Angeles wants to retain his services, the team may not be looking for a deal of such length – and should Uribe sign somewhere else, the Dodgers’ infield will suddenly look quite bare.
Ellis’ 2014 option was declined a few weeks back, but now that Punto and Schumaker have left town, it might behoove the Dodgers to bring back the 36-year old second baseman after all.
As far as the Reds are concerned, G.M. Walt Jocketty has already had an eventful offseason. The team recently signed catcher Brayan Pena to a two-year deal, and is said to be considering dealing All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips. Picking up Schumaker to shore up the bench is a smart move, as Schumaker is definitely one of the most versatile options around in terms of the number of positions he can play – and play well.