The Mets hire Paul DePodesta

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The New York Mets announced today that Paul DePodesta has been named Special Assistant to General Manager Sandy Alderson.  He joins J.P. Ricciardi in the “Former GMs Who Made Their Bones While Working for the Alderson/Beane ‘Moneyball’ Atheltics Teams Club.”

DePodesta’s tenure as Dodgers’ GM was kind of a pain for him. He only got two seasons — and only one offseason — as the Dodgers GM. Hired just as spring training was getting underway in 2004, he was let go right after the 2005 season ended.  Not all of his moves worked out, but he was hounded by the media — Bill Paschke and T.J. Simers called him “Google Boy” in ignorant disdain of his sabermetric background — and ultimately cut loose by Frank McCourt.One wonders what would have happened had he actually been given a chance to breathe. Oh well, a lack of respect for DePodesta seems to be a common theme, sadly. In the upcoming “Moneyball” movie he’s being replaced by a fictitious character played by Jonah Hill, who probably could not be a more polar opposite from DePodesta physically speaking. I’d think that would bug me more than getting canned by McCourt.

The important fact here, though, is that DePodesta is bright. As is J.P. Ricciardi. As is Sandy Alderson.  And in them, the Mets have a sharp-as-a-tack front office team working for them now.

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.