DETROIT TIGERS AGREE TO TWO-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION WITH INFIELDER JONATHAN SCHOOP
The Detroit Tigers have announced that they’ve signed INF Jonathan Schoop to a two-year contract extension, keeping him with the franchise through the 2023 season.
Schoop, just 29 years-old and a former all-star, has signed with the Tigers as a free agent in each of the last two off-seasons, standing out as one of the most consistent players in baseball over that span. Since the start of the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign he’s been both durable and productive, ranking in the 97th percentile of all Major Leaguers in at-bats (581) and in the 81st percentile in batting average (.286) among big league hitters with at least 400 plate appearances.
While his consistency is key, Schoop also has shown elite skills on both sides of the ball that have carried the Tigers through very impressive winning stretches over the last two years. On the season, Schoop is tied for the American League lead with 38 multi-hit games and is leading all Major Leaguers with 89 hits since May 22. He recently posted a career-best 16-game hitting streak (the longest by a Tigers player since 2017) and led the team with a .329 average and .938 OPS between May 8 and July 22, over which the Tigers posted a stellar 38-27 record. Over that span he had the most at-bats by any American League player and ranked among the league leaders in multiple categories, including: hits (1st, 85), RBI (3rd, 51), batting average (4th), slugging percentage (7th), OPS (7th) and extra-base hits (8th, 30).
Following the 2020 season he was named a finalist for the American League Gold Glove Award for second basemen, leading all AL second basemen with a .994 fielding percentage and committing just one error in 174 total chances. Among qualified second basemen, he ranked second in the AL with a 2.4 UZR and first in the Majors with a 10.7 UZR/150 (UZR normalized for number of chances in a season). This year he’s shown solid defensive versatility, playing 75 games at first base (entered 2021 with zero games at the position) and 24 contests at second base. He’s made just seven errors in 708 total chances on the season.
“Jonathan has been a constant professional since joining our clubhouse, and is the exact type of player we want to wear the Olde English ‘D’,” said Al Avila, Detroit Tigers Executive Vice President and General Manager. “His production on the field matches the value of his leadership with all of our players, and we’re looking forward to that contribution continuing for the next few seasons. This is a big step towards bringing winning baseball back for our fans, and we know Jonathan will be a big part of that.”
Schoop is in his ninth Major League season, spending time with Baltimore (2013-18), Milwaukee (2018), Minnesota (2019) and now Detroit (2020+). He carries a career .262/.301/.452 slashline, with 159 home runs, 479 RBI and a .753 OPS. So far in 2021, he’s been one of the Tigers best hitters, batting .289/.333/.468 with 19 doubles and 18 homers, while driving in 64 and ranking fifth in the American League with 121 hits. His 2.6 bWAR and 117 wRC+ are on pace to be his highest in a season since the 6.5 bWAR and 120 wRC+ he posted in his 2017 All-Star season with Baltimore.
“Over the last few years I’ve never been afraid to say that I hope to stay in Detroit, so this is a really exciting day for me,” said Schoop. “I really want to thank A.J. Hinch, Scott Coolbaugh and everyone with the Tigers for believing in me and allowing me to be a part of this clubhouse that’s grown so much since the start of 2020. On the field, I couldn’t be happier to play with this group of guys and for this coaching staff. At the end of the day there was no place I’d rather be than Detroit, and I’m really excited we were able to get a deal done to make that happen.”