Milton Bradley returned to the cleanup spot last night after a few weeks either hurt or batting elsewhere. He went 0 for 3, and struck out looking twice. After the second one, Don Wakamatsu lifted him from the game.
Whether Bradley’s benching was to save him from himself — Bradley, you may be shocked to learn, was not happy with the umpire — or to save the Mariners from his ineptitude is unclear. What is clear, however, is that he was angry about it. Indeed, according to Gregg Bell of the Associated press “multiple Mariners” said Bradley’s mindset was “not
good” after the game. The Seattle Times’ Geoff Baker reports that Bradley’s frustration was about the benching, not about his bad night at the plate. He apparently threw stuff all over the dugout after he was taken out of the game.
Neither Baker nor Bell suggest that there was anything exchanged between Wakamatsu and Bradley, but both note that he wasn’t in the clubhouse after the game. Perhaps, like Eric Byrnes before him, he got on his bike and rode.
If this keeps up he may have something else in common with Eric Byrnes: unemployment.
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.