I know I'm a couple of days late to the party on this one, but I wanted to make sure I touched on the St. Louis Cardinals move, trading second baseman Skip Schumaker to the Los Angles Dodgers for Double-A middle infielder Jake Lemmerman.
Despite being a fan favorite, Schumaker had simply become too expensive for the Cardinals, given his moderate value. Schumaker has only been more than a two-win player once in his career, and is more consistently in the 1-2 win range. With his 2012 salary coming in at $1.5 million, he no longer fit the Cardinals budget, given that they were trying to upgrade from him anyway.
For the Dodgers, $1.5 million is nothing.
For their troubles, the Cardinals received Lemmerman, a former fifth round pick in 2010 out of Duke. Lemmerman was drafted as a shortstop and played their exclusively in 2010 and 2011. After being drafted, Lemmerman dominated the short-season Pioneer League as a college player should against younger competition, hitting .363/.434/.610 in 66 games.
Lemmerman followed that up with a strong first full season in 2011, hitting .283/.370/.415 between High and Double-A, although the final 21 games of that season which came in Double-A were a struggle, as Lemmerman hit just .234 at the new level.
The Dodgers had him repeat Double-A in 2012, but the results were largely the same. This past season, Lemmerman hit .233/.347/.378 with 29 doubles and seven home runs. He also saw some time at second base for the first time in his career.
Lemmerman is not a power hitter and never will be, but he does have a good approach at the plate. He doesn't draw a ton of walks, but he gets his fair share. If he can manage to hit around .280, he can be a player that has some value.
He's not going to hit enough be a starting shortstop, but he should be able to handle the position defensively in the majors in a part-time roll, giving him value as a utility man. He's already taking on second base and don't be surprised to see him at third base to his resume as well.
If he can get his bat back on track, he has a future as a valuable utility man and he's in the right organization for maximizing that role.