Bailey Stephens of MLB.com has an update from our baseball friends overseas.
The Chibba Lotte Marines defeated the Chunichi Dragons 8-7 on Sunday to win the Japan Series — a series that featured the longest game in the league’s history.
The Marines and Dragons battled to a 2-2 tie* after six hours and 43 minutes in Game 6 Saturday.
That led to Sunday’s decisive Game 7, whenYoshifumi Okada knocked in the go-ahead run with an RBI triple in the top of the 12th to lead the Marines to the club’s first Japan Series title since 2005. Current ESPN analyst and active managerial candidate Bobby Valentine was that 2005 team’s manager.
The Marines finished third place in the Pacific League regular season standings, but had a Giants-like run through the playoffs.
*Bud Selig was not spotted in the stands. No word yet on whether he called for the cease in action from another locale.
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.