Cardinals activate Allen Craig, put Skip Schumaker on DL

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Another day, another Cardinals player on the disabled list, as Skip Schumaker was placed on the shelf with a right hamstring strain.

This time around at least the Cardinals are getting a key player back off the DL, as they activated Allen Craig following the minimum 15-day stay for a hamstring injury of his own.

Craig was on fire before the injury, hitting .373 with five homers, five doubles, and a 1.188 OPS in 13 games after making his delayed debut following offseason knee surgery.

Obviously swapping Schumaker for Craig is an upgrade for the offense, but with center fielder Jon Jay suffering a setback with his shoulder injury the Cardinals could have used Schumaker’s defensive versatility. In theory Craig is capable of playing some second base or center field in a pinch, but that was an iffy proposition even before his knee and hamstring problems.

St. Louis’ disabled list now includes Schumaker, Jay, Lance Berkman, Matt Carpenter, Chris Carpenter, Scott Linebrink, and Kyle McClellan.

There is a “one million percent” chance Aroldis Champan will opt-out of his deal

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that there is a “one million percent” chance Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman will opt out once the season ends.

Just going by the math this makes perfect sense, of course.

Chapman signed a five-year, $86 million deal with the Yankees before the 2017 season. Pursuant to the terms of the deal he’ll make $15 million a year in 2020 and 2021 (he was given an $11 million signing bonus that was finished being paid out last year). This past season the qualifying offer was $17.9 million. Craig Kimbrel of the Cubs just signed a deal that will pay him $16 million in 2020, 2021, and 2022 (he’s making a prorated $16 million this year). Other top closer salaries at the moment include Kenley Jansen ($19,333,334); and Wade Davis ($18 million).

It’s fair to say that Chapman fits into that group and, I think it’s safe to say, more teams would take him than those guys if they were all freely available. As such, Chapman opting out to get more money makes all kinds of sense. Heck, opting out, getting slapped with a qualifying offer, accepting it and then hitting the market unencumbered after the 2020 season would stand him in better financial stead than if he didn’t opt-out in the first place.

The question is whether the Yankees will let it get that far or whether they’ll approach him to renegotiate the final couple of years on the deal or to add some years onto the back of it. If they’re smart they will.