Reds bring in Schumaker to upgrade bench
NOV 26, 2013 6:49p ET
That home will be with the Reds after he officially signed a two-year, $5 million deal with Cincinnati on Tuesday. The Reds also hold a club option for 2016, but for this upcoming season they believe they have upgraded their bench with the veteran Schumaker. He batted. .263 in 125 games for Los Angeles last season, playing second base as well as all three outfield positions. Schumaker began his career with St. Louis.
Current Reds general manager Walt Jocketty was the Cardinals' GM in 2001 when Schumaker was selected in the fifth round of the amateur draft.
"The first thing I wanted to do was sign with a team that had a really good chance to win. The Reds have been that way and been one of the best teams in the last three or four years," said Schumaker. "I like to win. That's just what I'm kind of used to. I'm used to being on a playoff team, a team that I've had a really good chance to get to the World Series. I take pride in that."
Schumaker is scheduled to make $2 million in 2014, $2.5 million in 2015 and a team option in 2016 worth $2.5 million with a $500,000 buyout.
The deal with Schumaker was first reported last week by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. It became official after Schumaker underwent a physical. The team also announced Tuesday that outfielder Derrick Robinson has been designated for assignment to make room for Schumaker on the 40-man roster.
Robinson played in 102 games for the Reds last season, hitting .255. He was used often as a late-inning defensive replacement. Schumaker has played in 30 postseason games in his career, including helping St. Louis to a World Series title in 2009. He was first called up by the Cardinals in 2005.
Schumaker said during a conference call that his decision came down to the Reds and one other team. He did have some discussions with the Dodgers but they were only preliminary talks, according to Schumaker. Los Angeles won the NL West title last season but lost in the NL championship series to St. Louis in six games.
"I had a great time in L.A. and I thought things, especially with the run that we made to get to the playoffs, that whole deal with how we started and how we finished was a pretty meaningful run and I thought we had some unfinished business," said Schumaker. "But I think they had so many things going on there internally that when we were doing some negotiations I kind of felt that maybe I was on the backburner.
"I just really didn't want to wait."
Schumaker is the second free agent signed by the Reds this offseason. They also signed former Detroit catcher Brayan Pena to a two-year, $2.3 million deal this month. Five players who were with the Reds last season -- pitchers Bronson Arroyo, Manny Parra and Nick Masset, outfield Shin-Soo Choo and infielder Cesar Izturis -- are currently on the free agent market.
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