Cardinals sign Schumaker to two-year deal

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The Cardinals signed second baseman Skip Schumaker to a two-year, $4.7 million contract on Monday, avoiding arbitration.
It’s a modest surprise, given that the two sides had to close a wide gap for 2010. The Cardinals proposed a $1.45 million salary for Schumaker’s first year of arbitration, while Schumaker requiested $2.75 million, nearly twice as much.
Another part of the equation was that the Cardinals appeared to be flrting with free agent Felipe Lopez as an alternative at second base. Those talks have quieted, though.
In his first year as a second baseman, Schumaker hit .303/.364/.393 while serving as the Cardinals’ primary leadoff hitter. The former outfielder is a career .301/.356/.399 hitter in 1,327 at-bats.
Considering that he’s 30 and still a long shot to last as regular second baseman, this could well go down as Schumaker’s biggest payday. He’ll make $2 million this year and $2.7 million in 2011. He won’t be eligible for free agency for the first time until after 2012.

Three A’s rookies hit their first big league home runs on Saturday

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The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.

Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:

Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:

In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.

The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.

Athletics call up top prospect Franklin Barreto

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The Athletics called up their top prospect on Saturday, inserting shortstop Franklin Barreto into the lineup for their second game against the White Sox. Barreto was originally scheduled to make his major league debut on Sunday, but got a head start after Jed Lowrie sustained a minor knee sprain in Friday’s 3-0 win and was scratched from Saturday’s lineup.

Barreto, 21, has been rapidly climbing the rungs of the A’s minor league system after getting dealt by the Blue Jays in 2014. He got his first taste of Triple-A action late last year, going 6-for-17 with three RBI and getting caught stealing in two attempts. He fared little better this spring, slashing .281/.326/.428 with eight home runs and a .754 OPS through his first 309 PA in Nashville.

While his minor league production has been solid, if underwhelming for a prospect of his caliber, the A’s are expected to give the rookie infielder a long leash with both Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder sitting on the disabled list. Pinder landed on the 10-day DL after suffering a left hamstring strain on Friday. Semien, meanwhile, is still working his way back from the 60-day DL with a right wrist fracture and likely won’t rejoin the team until he completes a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton.