Charlie Manuel may be the biggest loser this offseason, but he has some competition in Geovany Soto:
Soto didn’t wait for the new year to change his eating habits. He has
dropped 40 pounds since the 2009 season ended on Oct. 4. He’ll need a
new uniform. Soto went from a size 42 waist to size 36.
“I felt I needed to do something, I felt I needed to go to the
next level,” said Soto, who had been listed in the Cubs media guide at
a polite 230 pounds. “I felt I needed to show my teammates I’m really
into this, I really want to play, I want to play hard, I’m committed to
this and I want to win.
33 pounds of that was eyebrow hair. True story.
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.