Via Ken Rosenthal, the Cincinnati Reds and free agent Skip Schumaker have agreed to a 2-year deal. This move, made by general manager Walt Jocketty, was made in an effort to gain a much needed bench bat as well as some experience.
The specifics of the deal are yet to be known except for the “multi year” aspect. Schumaker played for the St. Louis Cardinals for many years where Walt Jocketty ran things. Jocketty must have thought highly of Schumaker’s character because Skip’s numbers aren’t neccessarily impressing anybody.
An interesting factor in this signing is the fact that it’s for two years. I think it’s safe to say that the Cincinnati Reds are right on the cusp of greatness. They are clearly a playoff team and perhaps even a world series caliber team. Cincinnati was looking to Jocketty to make some minor tweaks.
Besides the obvious (the firing of Dusty Baker), some other problems needed to be addressed. One such issue: a bench bat. But the signing of Schumaker is an odd one for a couple of reasons.
First, I think Reds fan were looking for a bit more power. Rather than another free agent veteran, the fans were looking for more of a younger power hitter who would be signed long term. Which takes me to my next “odd” reason: age.
Schumaker isn’t 40 of course, but he’s close. Skip has been around the block. He will turn 34 next February. Yes, those old guys can still play. But not like they used to. Fans were just looking for someone with a bit more power and a bit less age.
Another head scratcher in this whole ordeal is Schumaker’s defense. Although he is a utility player, his defense is bad. There’s not other way around it. Utility players are often looked at as someone who can play multiple positions. It’s a positive. It can also mean that you’re just a subpar defensive player who can’t find a position.
Overall, Skip Schumaker will bring experience to the Cincinnati clubhouse. He’s been a part of some pretty successful Cardinals teams. He may not be the answer to the puzzle, but he’ll help us figure it out.