Tonight may bring with it the deadline for free agent arbitration tenders, but the Phillies needed not to wait in order to ink their man. Brian Schneider spent the past two seasons with the Mets, struggling with multiple injuries that would be especially detrimental to catchers (i.e. back and knee), and as a result not being ranked by Elias. Regardless of such concerns, the Phillies completed a two-year deal with Carlos Ruiz’ new back-up and the contract will call for Schneider to earn $1.25M this season and $1.5M next.
Schneider isn’t much of a batter. Over the last three seasons he’s collected 1,055 plate appearances and a .672 OPS. His best offensive ability – perhaps the only – is that he’ll draw some walks when he plays. He’s no Gregg Zaun, though. Defensively, our very own Matt Klaasen found that Schneider was one of the dozen best at the catching aspects we can quantify. He’s especially good at preventing wild pitches and blocking potential passed balls.
Schneider should be worth his money, although the injuries make the inclusion of a second year a wee bit questionable on the Phils’ part.
Coincidentally, a former Phillies reserve catcher has landed with the Mets. Chris Coste, best known for his book about being an elder rookie, signed a contract with the Mets yesterday. It seems a bit early to give a 40-man spot to someone who appears to be a pretty common commodity, but Omar Minaya also agreed to give Alex Cora an annual $2M contract rather than spending that on potentially useful minor league depth or draft picks.