Second baseman Jonathan Schoop and the Twins agreed to a $7.5 million, one-year contract on Thursday, another step in an offseason remake of Minnesota’s infield.
Schoop’s deal would allow him to earn a $100,000 performance bonus for reaching 600 plate appearances, plus additional award bonuses. He was an All-Star with Baltimore in 2017 when he hit .293 with 32 home runs with 105 RBIs, all career highs.
He was traded to Milwaukee last summer right before the non-waiver deadline and became a free agent last week, when the Brewers declined to offer him a 2019 contract rather than allow him to be eligible for salary arbitration. Schoop made $8.5 million in 2018.
The 27-year-old native of the Caribbean island of Curacao made his major league debut with the Orioles in 2013 and spent five seasons as their regular second baseman, until their salary dump triggered the deal that sent him to the Brewers for second baseman Jonathan Villar and two minor league prospects.
Though the Brewers came within one win of reaching the World Series, Schoop went 0 for 8 in the postseason after batting just .202 with four home runs and 21 RBIs in 46 games for Milwaukee after the trade.
”Look, it was a bad deal, and that’s on me,” Brewers general manager David Stearns said after Schoop was let go. ”We made a trade for a player we thought was going to be here for basically a year and a half, and I was wrong.”
Schoop, whose last name is pronounced like the word scope, has also played a handful of games at shortstop over the last two seasons in case the Twins preferred to put him there instead of Jorge Polanco. Nick Gordon, the fifth overall pick in the 2014 draft, struggled at Triple-A last year but could be ready for his debut soon. He’s a natural shortstop who could wind up as a major league second baseman.
The Twins also added middle infield depth by agreeing Thursday to a one-year contract with Ronald Torreyes that has an $800,000 while he is in the major leagues and $225,000 while he is in the minors. Torreyes batted .280 in 100 at-bats with the New York Yankees last season. He has played in parts of four years in the majors, also logging time with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He was claimed off waivers by the Cubs last week, then became a free agent when the Cubs didn’t offer a 2019 contracts.
Minnesota agreed to a one-year, $1.3 million deal with Ehire Adrianza for further infield depth, with Miguel Sano again slated for third base following a rough 2018 season. The Twins got going last minth with what promises to be a busy offseason by claiming first baseman C.J. Cron off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays and then reaching agreement on a $4.8 million, one-year contract. First baseman Joe Mauer retired last month, after second baseman Brian Dozier and shortstop/third baseman Eduardo Escobar were traded at the non-waiver deadline last summer.
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