Jonathan Schoop was non-tendered on Friday and is a free agent. The San Diego Padres are searching for infield help and he could be an excellent buy-low candidate for the Friars in 2019.
In the search for players when constructing a major league roster, sometimes men just fall into your lap.
Friday was the deadline for teams to tender contracts to players for the 2019 season. Every year, players that are major league veterans are not offered deals and essentially become free agents. Several were granted free agency on Friday, and Jonathan Schoop is probably someone the Padres should kick the tires on as they search for players to fill out their roster for the 2019 season.
The 27-year-old infielder is coming off a season in which he was traded from Baltimore to Milwaukee in July. He only earned six at-bats in the post-season for the Brewers and was clearly not in their plans for the 2019 season. He was due to make somewhere around $9-12 million (in arbitration) in the final year before free agency. The Brewers elected to save the money and now he is available to anyone.
Schoop has traditionally played second base in the majors, but he does have some experience at third base and shortstop. He played 17 games at shortstop last season and 17 games at third base in 2014. He is capable of playing short, but probably not someone you want out there on a daily basis. At third, he has displayed enough power to man the position and could be serviceable on a regular basis.
Last season, the infielder put up a .682 OPS with a .233/.266/.416 slash line in 131 games and 473 at-bats. That was a horrible effort from Schoop, who struggled all season to swing the bat well. An oblique injury early in the year certainly didn’t help him produce. His numbers last season were horrendous, but he is one year removed from putting up a .842 OPS, 124 OPS+ and a 5.2 WAR in 2017. That year Schoop was an all-star and hit 32 homers while recording a .293/.338/.503 slash line. At 27 for the entire 2019 season, he could reach those lofty numbers once again.
What would it take for Schoop to sign a contract with the Padres?
You would have to think he would want a one-year deal to boost his overall value. If he performs well in 2019, he would enter the free agent class after the 2019 season (at the age of 28) and would cash in on a multi-year deal from someone. He has all the incentive in the world to have a huge 2019 season. Jonathan Schoop should produce next season and he could be a steal this winter on the open market. If the Padres feel he can handle the hot corner on a daily basis, he might be an option for the team. The fact he can man the shortstop position is just a bonus for the Friars as they still have no clear answer there for next season.
Keep an eye on Schoop as the Padres attempt to figure out their roster for 2019.