Chanukah Continues in Los Angeles

The Dodgers appear to be celebrating Chanukah, as they are receiving the gift of a new player every day. Does that mean they’ll be done with their offseason acquisitions by Friday night?

LA’s latest gift is Skip Schumaker, who arrives from St. Louis in return for minor-league shortstop Jake Lemmerman.

I like this trade for the Dodgers. Schumaker hits righthanders and is adequate enough defensively at 2B to be the LH side of a platoon — which, presumably, he’ll be, with Mark Ellis handling the RH side. Between the two veterans, the Dodgers will have a fairly productive, steady presence at second base.

To me, Schumaker is a notch above Daniel Murphy with the glove — mainly because he has a bit more athleticism and a lot more in the way of baseball instincts. Offensively, Schumaker is similar to Murphy, minus the doubles. His edge is in versatility; he can play the outfield without people fearing for his safety.

Why the Schumaker:Murphy comparison? In case anyone has been wondering what the Mets might get in return for Murphy in a trade this winter. Of course, at 27 Murphy is five years younger than Schumaker, and is hopefully on the brink of his peak years, so there is more “upside” and “potential” with Murphy. But generally speaking, the Schumaker deal is a decent comp — a player such as Jake Lemmerman is the least that Murphy would bring back in return (likely, he’d bring back a bit more).

So who is Jake Lemmerman? He’s a good fielding, hard-playing, 23-year-old shortstop who hit .233 with a .347 OBP and .725 OPS at AA last season. He has a little more pop than the average utilityman, strikes out a ton, walks fairly frequently, and is one of those guys who seems to extract every ounce out of his god-given abilities. I suppose he may be somewhere between a young Mark Bellhorn and, um, Skip Schumaker. Or maybe he’s Jake Gautreau — we won’t know for a while.

In other news, the Yankees appear to have agreed to terms with Ichiro Suzuki, which makes plenty of sense for both sides. You didn’t think there was ever a chance of him playing for another New York baseball team, did you?

If you were wondering, Scott Hairston is seeking a “multi-year” contract after a career year in 2012. Word on the street is that the 32-year-old (he’ll be 33 in May) could command at least a 2-year, $10M contract, and several teams are interested in his services. No worries, though — the Mets are “still in the mix” according to Adam Rubin. Well thank goodness for that; I was beginning to wonder who the Mets’ fourth outfielder might be. Never mind who the Mets’ starting three outfielders will be — little holes like that can be easily filled rather quickly.

Speaking of those “other” outfield holes, the Cleveland Indians are pushing hard for Nick Swisher, now that they’ve moved Shin-Soo Choo. It’s too bad the Mets can’t afford to get in on that bidding. But then again, it may be a blessing in disguise. After all, if the Mets signed Swisher to a two- or three-year contract, he’d be blocking that really hot outfield prospect down in the minors. Someone remind me of that young man’s name, who is so close to MLB he can taste it?

Finally, the Cubs have signed South Korean right-handed reliever Chang-Yong Lim and his interpreter to a two-year contract. I’m not sure I completely understand the deal from the Cubs’ perspective, as Lim is 36 years old and currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery; he likely won’t be back on the mound until sometime after July 2013 at the earliest. I guess the Cubs are gunning for 2014?

12-13 Offseason

About the Author

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.

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