Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox “have expressed interest in” free agent right-hander Justin Duchscherer, who missed all of 2009 and most of 2010 following hip and elbow surgeries.
Duchscherer was originally drafted by the Red Sox in the eighth round back in 1996 and was traded to the Rangers in 2001 for Doug Mirabelli.
When healthy he’s been a very effective pitcher for the A’s as both a starter and reliever, posting a 3.13 ERA in 455 career innings, but he’s logged more than 60 innings in a season just once in the past five years.
He’ll likely have to settle for an inventive-laden one-year contract at this point and Duchscherer does have a relationship with new Boston pitching coach Curt Young from their time together in Oakland, which along with the Red Sox’s recent tendency to pursue pitchers coming off injuries makes him a plausible target for Theo Epstein and company.
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.