Thinnest rumor of the year: Jim Thome and the Tigers

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How thin? I’m going to base it on a single tweet from MSG Network’s Tina Cervasio, who said that she saw Jim Thome in a suburban Detroit hotel a few minutes ago.  Does that mean Thome is talking to the Tigers? Hey, why not!  TMZ is getting into sports gossip, you know. If that works out we’ll all have to start stalking people in order to compete!

Other options: He’s there to party with Miguel Cabrera, who also has a thing for suburban Detroit hotels.  Or, as ESPN’s Jorge Arangure said, Thome is the kind of guy who might actually vacation in Detroit.

I can see it now: “Gee, this is a swell place. So much history. Hey, who wants to go to Canada? It’s just across that bridge there! Neat!”

So there you are. Start spreading the news. Thome to the Tigers. It’s gold, baby. Gold I tells ya.

UPDATE: Sadly, the word now is that Thome is in Detroit for a funeral. What a downer to a perfectly ludicrous rumor.

Brewers to give Mike Moustakas a look at second base

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The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.

The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.

This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.

Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.