Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
With OF/2B Skip Schumaker finding increasingly few at-bats at OF or 2B, the St. Louis Cardinals' longtime utility man could be on his way out this offseason.
All the way through the first half of the 2012 season it was hard to imagine the St. Louis Cardinals dropping utility man Skip Schumaker any time soon—especially with a year left on his inexplicable two-season deal. But his playing time dissipated in the second half, even with Rafael Furcal missing the end of the season, and he was little more than a pinch hitter by the time the Cardinals lost the NLCS. (And not even their best left-handed, infield-playing pinch hitter, thanks to the emergence of Matt Carpenter.)
Which is why the trade rumor Ken Rosenthal dutifully reported over the weekend doesn't come as an enormous surprise. The Cardinals don't trust him at second, and he's an awkward fit in an outfield where fellow punchless left-hander Jon Jay is starting.
What would the Cardinals get for Schumaker? Well, not much. Think minor league reliever or similarly outmoded bench piece. But with his role in permanent decline, I'm sure they'd be happy to get out from under the $1.5 million they owe him for 2013, in favor of a cheaper piece like Ryan Jackson, Pete Kozma, or this year's minor-league-free-agent reclamation project.