We already heard that Mike Moustakas has lost weight and may be in the Best Shape of His Life. Now we hear that he’s been working on his swing, trying to learn to take the ball the other way. Use that third base/left field side.
Good for him! Hope he improves because a productive Mike Moustakas would go a long way toward helping the Royals improve on their 86-win season and a contending Royals team would probably be pretty fun. Sort of like Pittsburgh last season. I sorta want to see that.
But it’s also possible that this is just your standard offseason cliche. Getting in shape. Working on my swing. If we see a story about him working with some respected former major leaguer or having offseason workouts with some other player on another team, we will have pretty much filled Moustakas’ offseason hitters BINGO card.
Pitchers BINGO cards have “working on my changeup” and “working on my arm slot” to go with BSHOL, by the way.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.