Sizing up the interest in free agent Pat Burrell

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burrell stretching.jpgThe Rays cut ties with 33-year-old designated hitter (and former outfielder) Pat Burrell last weekend and now he is free to sign with any club.  Here’s a short round-up of the interested and uninterested teams:

  • Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com writes that Burrell will “NOT” be joining the Giants.
  • The Red Sox don’t have room for another “one-dimensional” player like Burrell, or so says Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
  • Ruben Armaro Jr., GM of the Phillies, told MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki that his club is not interested in bringing back Burrell either.
  • FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal hears that the Padres have “sniffed around” on Burrell, and it seems they are the only team with any amount of real interest.

And that’s it.  That’s all.  Burrell, still a .253/.362/.473 career hitter, has taken a sharp dive from grace since inking a two-year, $16 million deal with the Rays in January of 2009.  He was batting just batting 202/.292/.333 with two homers and 13 RBI over 84 at-bats when the Rays cut ties with him last Saturday.

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.