The 33-year-old Northampton, Pa. product hit .218/.292/.335 in 194 plate appearances with the Mets last season, starting just 52 games behind the dish, missing time with multiple ailments including a bad back and knee.
Schneider, a notorious Phillies killer during an all-NL East career starting with Montreal/Washington from 2000-07, then onto the Mets from 2008-09, is a lifetime .251/.323/.374 hitter, but is a .273/.354/.412 hitter against the Phillies. As Phillies fans can attest, every one of his 92 lifetime hits against them seemed to be daggers. Schneider will reportedly earn $1.25 million in 2010 and $1.5 million in 2011. He has already passed his physical, so the deal is official. Schneider, who grew up a Phillies fan, will serve as a more than capable backup to starter Carlos Ruiz for the next two seasons.
Beerleaguer: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. I've written a lot about Schneider over the years and many Beerleaguers have always had a soft spot for him, be it his local ties or the way he played the position. Before Chooch emerged, I considered Schneider to be exactly the type of savvy handler the Phillies needed. Now they bring all that knowledge into the fold and there’s no other way to view the Phillies’ catching situation as one of the best in baseball. If Chooch goes on the shelf, the Phillies wouldn’t miss much, and Schneider is the type of player who helps a team even if he isn't playing. Not only that, but look at what he does to the bench. Stats aside – and he’s a far sight better than Paul Bako – Charlie Manuel will feel very confident handing the bat to Schneider in a big spot.
Two concerns: the injuries; and how he adjusts to a bench role. Nevertheless, Schneider will receive a good deal of trust right from the chute, so I wouldn’t expect him to collect dust.
The other story here is the work of Ruben Amaro Jr. to once again shore up a need early in the offseason. Schneider was one of the better catchers on the board in my estimation and to woo him with a backup role says a lot about his power of persuasion.