More comings and goings to pass along today, as is typical for this time of the year.
**Welcome, Brendan Harris, I guess. (waves hand) This is not the backup infielder you are looking for. But he might just be the one you’ll get, since the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract that comes with an invite to major league camp. Harris, 33, has a career line of .256/.314/.381 in parts of eight seasons, though only one of those eight seasons has come in the last three years — he didn’t see big league time in 2011 or 2012. In 2013, he got into 44 games with the Angels, was DFA’d in July, spent a month in the Yankees organization, got cut, and spent the final few weeks in Triple-A with Texas. (He was also once Nick Punto‘s double play partner in Minnesota.)
He can’t hit, obviously; after a decent 2007 as a starting middle infielder for Tampa, he’s got a cumulative line of .246/.303/.359 in 1,180 plate appearances. He can play all four infield spots, but none particularly well, in case you’re wondering if he’s just a good glove who can play all over and… well, Albuquerque needs players too, you know. You’ve got to field a team, right? Did we begrudge them the services of Rusty Ryal and Brian Barden? Of course not. Now, let’s just hope that’s all it is.
**Albuquerque finds a first baseman. Clint Robinson, 29 in February, also receives a spring training invite. Robinson has smashed in the minors, putting up a .301/.378/.506 line with Kansas City & Toronto, but he seems to have peaked: after a 1.035 OPS in Double-A in 2010, it’s been .932, then .845, then .733. He’ll probably be hilarious in Albuquerque, crushing huge dingers, but he’s a poor first baseman and has only four major league plate appearances.
**Nice having you, Kelvin De La Cruz. You don’t know him, and you shouldn’t, really. He never appeared for the Dodgers, and has never appeared in the bigs at all, though he was intriguingly good for the Isotopes last year. Somehow, he’s turned that into a major league deal with Baltimore. Good for him, I think.
**So long, Skip Schu– wait, what? When I reviewed Skip Schumaker‘s season earlier this month, I said “I wonder if the days of him getting guaranteed major league deals are over.” Well, he did get a major league deal from Cincinnati… for two years. Two!!
Poor Red Reporter:
I gotta be honest. There is a lot to hate about this deal. Money numbers aren’t available yet, but this is yet another two-year deal for a crappy replacement-level player. Off the top of my head, I count Willy Taveras, Mike Lincoln, Miguel Cairo (that one actually worked pretty well), Jack Hannahan, Ryan Ludwick, and now Skipper. That’s a lot of guaranteed years for a lot of roster filler.
To his credit, Skipper Doodle has a career OBP of .344. But he hasn’t topped that number since 2009, which was coincidentally the last time he was at all useful. Since then, he has been worth a grand total of -0.3 bWAR. That gets you a multi-year deal and the collective derision of literally hundreds of internet-bound bloggerati-types like me.
Dude really makes his bones by being defensively versatile. He plays second base and all three outfield positions, but none of them well or even average. So there’s that, too.
My Sum-of-All-Fears-24-Jack-Ryan-Jack Bauer Doomsday worst-case scenario take on this is that Skippy is probably going to play a good bit of 2B next year after they trade Brandon Phillips. I mean, Skippy is a fairly decent if not really useful bench player, but if he is starting it is a big, big problem.
So to sum it up, it’s too many years for a replacement player who would be halfway decent in a Jack Hannahan kinda role but will probably be asked to do much more.
I am not impressed.