The Milwaukee Brewers were deep into discussions with the Orioles for Manny Machado. Now they’re asking about their other middle infielder, Jonathan Schoop.
According to Roch Kubatko, who covers the Orioles, the Milwaukee Brewers have continued to talk with Baltimore about other players after losing out on Machado.
Jonathan Schoop has been the Orioles starting second baseman for a few years now, and had a tremendous 2017 season, blasting 32 homers on his way to a .293 batting average.
Kevin Gausman is a former high level prospect who has been mediocre at best in the big leagues. I sincerely hope that their intentions behind asking about him were just due diligence because if he’s viewed as a rotation “upgrade”, we are in trouble.
Gausman has a 4.33 ERA this year, and has had a FIP above 4.00 each of the past four seasons. He also allows a ridiculous amount of home runs. David Stearns interest in Gausman hopefully is pure due diligence.
The more likely addition is Schoop. He had a big season last year and another pretty good one before that. But 2018 has been a struggle for Schoop. To date, he has a .229/.262/.394 slash line with 11 homers and only 26 RBIs.
Those numbers don’t really represent a significant improvement over what the Milwaukee Brewers currently have at second base. If they acquire Schoop, they would be banking on the change of scenery helping him get back to his 2017 form.
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Schoop is average defensively, so his defense isn’t going to cause the Brewers to part with any significant talent either.
Schoop’s Contract and Fit
Schoop has one more year of arbitration, making him a free agent after the 2019 season. The Brewers would be buying a year and a half of control over Schoop if they were to acquire him. Since he’s not a rental, he would cost a little bit more, but the 26 year old will only be under control for one year.
Because of the poor season and only one extra year of control, Schoop would be a buy-low acquisition. The Brewers would bank on him turning things around immediately after joining Milwaukee.
Schoop would be the primary starter at second base, which is where he’s been for the past five years. He’s played some shortstop in fill-in duty, so he has experience at that position as well.
Should they make a deal?
Considering Schoop is having a terrible year at the plate and is actually worse in the second half over his career, he doesn’t make much sense as a potential game-changing acquisition. The same goes for Gausman, who has never been better than mediocre over his career.
This is interest sounds like due diligence on the part of David Stearns and nothing more. The report only states that the Brewers have asked about these players, not that the team is in serious pursuit of them.
The Orioles know the Brewers farm system from the Machado talks and should have a good idea who is available and who isn’t. But my guess is a deal involving either of these players doesn’t come to fruition.
The Milwaukee Brewers will need to make some moves before the deadline passes in nine days. But Schoop and Gausman don’t appear to be good fits.