Not even a week after losing utility player Nick Punto to the Oakland Athletics, the Los Angeles Dodgers lost another piece off their bench as Skip Schumaker signed a two-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds.
Schumaker was acquired via trade with the St. Louis Cardinals last winter and the Dodgers only got one year out of the LA native. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com was the first to report Schumaker was leaving for Ohio:
Sources: #Reds, free agent Skip Schumaker agree on two-year deal, pending physical.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 18, 2013
Rosenthal notes that Reds GM Walt Jocketty drafted Schumaker when he was in St. Louis so the fit makes sense. In his one season with the Dodgers, Schumaker hit .263 with two home runs and 30 RBI and was thrown into starting duties during the playoffs.
With Andre Ethier nursing a leg injury at the the end of the season, Schumaker started all four games of the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves and Game 2 of the NLCS. Schumaker was an attractive utility player with his ability to play both infield and outfield positions as he was a defensive replacement for Carl Crawford late in games during the regular season.
Without Punto and now Schumaker the Dodgers will need to look to a thin free agent class up the middle and they’ve already signed veteran infielder Brendan Harris to a minor league deal. Harris played in 44 games with the Angels last season and hit .206 as it’s clear the Dodgers are looking to get creative to replace the “carpool buddies”.
While the off-season has been slow up to this point for the Dodgers, they’ll need to act quickly to build their bench before they’re left with little depth next season.
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