Los Angeles Dodgers rumors finally settle on (you guessed it) Skip Schumaker

Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

The Los Angeles Dodgers could be interested in trading for the St. Louis Cardinals' unconventional, somewhat-maligned utility infielder-outfielder.

It's unfortunate that I used up all my Los Angeles Dodgers Are In On Every Player rumor jokes when I was talking about their pursuit of Kyle Lohse, because they've picked an even weirder St. Louis Cardinals player to get involved with over the Winter Meetings: Skip Schumaker, the Cardinals' saber-fanbase's least favorite gritty, hustling utility infielder-outfielder.

In Schumaker's defense, he's been above replacement level for most of his career, and was—a little stunningly—an average second baseman for a year after he was converted from the outfield at the age of 29. But he was perennially overrated by the previous administration (and anybody who looks at batting average but not slugging percentage) so the goodwill his incredibly transition earned him didn't last. In 2012 some combination of the front office and Mike Matheny marginalized him, even after a hot start had his batting average up.

The Cardinals have him under contract for 2013, so this is one player the Dodgers can't just sign—but expect any prospect or player return to be minor. Because you were probably wondering, the Dodgers carried three left-handed relievers for at least part of last year. Scott Elbert is too good to be returned in a Schumaker trade and not a lefty specialist, though he's used like one; Randy Choate, who took an incredible 36 appearances to pitch 13 innings, is a free agent; and Paco Rodriguez is 21-years-old and was drafted in June. Alas.

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