The Milwaukee Brewers Have to Resign Jonathan Schoop

One of the toughest calls this off-season is whether the Brewers offer salary arbitration to Jonathan Schoop.  Schoop is projected by mlbtraderumors.com to get $10.1 million through the arbitration process even though he was mediocre in 2018 and absolutely dreadful in the two months he played for Milwaukee.

It’s a tough call, indeed.  Schoop was worth, according to fangraphs, a combined $48.3 million in 2016 and 2017, but only $4.2 million in 2018.  He’s going to be 27 years in 2019, which is the year that major league players as a group peak.  Schoop could be expected to play better in 2019 based on his performance in 2015-2017.

On the other hand, Schoop is a hitter who does not walk at all (98 times in 2,640 plate appearances).  When young, extremely talented players end up washing out in their late 20’s, they are mostly players who can’t learn to draw walks.  Eventually, major league pitchers (and scouts) learn that these players won’t take walks and how to set them up so the money pitch is usually out of the strike zone.

The Asian major leagues are literally awash with extremely talented former MLB major league stars whose inability to take walks when pitchers stop throwing them strikes drove them out of the MLB major leagues.  Wilin Rosario, Jose Lopez, Dayan Viciedo and Oswaldo Arcia are current examples, and there are plenty more.

In short, the odds that Schoop is worth $20M+ in 2019 is about equal to the chances he’ll be playing in Japan’s NPB in two or three years’ time.  That said, I think the Brewers have to role the dice and offer Schoop arbitration.

The Brewers are notoriously a small market team, one of the smallest in MLB.  But they won’t be a low revenue team in 2019.  The Brewers’ attendance was 10th best in 2018, and it’s likely to be even better in 2019, following a season in which they had the National League’s best record and advanced to the NLCS.

$10M on a one year deal is a risk the Brewers have to take and can afford to take in 2019.  If Schoop’s 2019 performance is worth $20M or more, which is a reasonable possibility, it’s something the Brewers will absolutely have to have to repeat their winning ways next season in light of their overall budget constraints.  If Schoop plays as poorly as he did in 2018, I don’t see that the Brewers have any players at AAA knocking down the door.  It just seems to me like an obvious risk the Brewers need to take if they want to compete for the pennant again in 2019.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Baseball Abroad, Milwaukee Brewers, National League, NPB

3 Comments on “The Milwaukee Brewers Have to Resign Jonathan Schoop”

  1. Burly Says:

    Shows what I know — the Brewers non-tendered Jonathan Schoop today.

  2. Burly Says:

    The Orioles should seriously consider bringing back Schoop at a bargain price to see if he can re-capture some of his old glory in Baltimore. The only reason not to would be if the O’s have a youngster who’s ready to be a major league 2Bman.

  3. Burly Says:

    The Twins today signed Jonathan Schoop for a reported $7.5M. The Twins are going to see if they can harvest Schoop’s upside on a one-year deal.


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