Could Jonathan Schoop resurrect his career in San Diego?
**Update: Since the drafting and publishing of this article, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has reported that Schoop is on the verge of signing with the Minnesota Twins for one-year/$7 million.**
The Baltimore Orioles seemed to have had most of the pieces put together to make a playoff run back in 2016-2017. Their pitching staff left a lot to be desired, however, Manny Machado was hitting like Manny Machado, Adam Jones began to show more patience at the plate, and they had a star emerging at second base named Jonathan Schoop.
After playing in all 162 games and hitting 25 home runs in 2016, Schoop emerged as one of the bigger offensive threats in the American League in 2017. Hitting .293 with a .338 OBP, 32 home runs, and 35 doubles, Schoop was an All-Star and earned a few Most Valuable Player votes to end the year.
It all came crashing down in 2018, exactly like the rest of the Baltimore Orioles’ season. Schoop was just one of many veterans traded away, finding a brief home with the Milwaukee Brewers but unable to find his 2017 groove. Schoop hit just .233 with an abysmal .266 OBP.
Having watched Jonathan Schoop since his days in High-A with the Frederick Keys and been lucky enough to have discussions with the young man, I firmly believe 2018 was a fluke. Baltimore was a wasteland in 2018 and not only did Schoop feel the effects of a poor atmosphere, an outgoing manager, but he was also separated from the franchise that drafted and raised him and from his best friend, Machado.
Ken Rosenthal recently reported that Schoop is looking for a one-year deal at around $10 million, after being non-tendered by the Brewers last week. He hasn’t played third base since 2014 with the Orioles, but with a little work in the hot corner, Schoop could rotate between third, second, and shortstop with the Padres, who are currently without a shortstop and have a big question mark at third base (unless Fernando Tatis Jr.forces San Diego to give him a roster spot out of spring).