Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Skip Schumaker has agreed to a two-year contract with the Reds, whose general manager Walt Jocketty was GM’ing the Cardinals when they drafted Schumaker back in 2001.
After six seasons with the Cardinals he spent this year as a part-time player for the Dodgers, hitting .263 with two homers and a .665 OPS in 125 games. Schumaker hasn’t topped a .725 OPS since 2009, will be 34 years old soon, and isn’t very good defensively, but he has experience at second base and all three outfield spots and has decent on-base skills.
Still, a multi-year deal for a 34-year-old bench player coming off a so-so season is more evidence that spending is going to be wacky this offseason.
Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.
When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.
Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.