Adam McCalvy of MLB.com caught up with legendary Brewers announcer Bob Uecker, who’s spending the offseason in Arizona resting up after undergoing two heart surgeries this year and plans to return to the broadcast booth for his 41st season in 2011.
At age 75 he “plans to work a full schedule” of games and Uecker told McCalvy that he’s looking forward to spring training more than ever after a 2010 filled with health problems:
It makes you appreciate things around you that you don’t pay a lot of attention to normally. It makes you appreciate your job. It makes you appreciate all of the guys who worked on me and all of the great baseball fans who say they want you back. There’s no way I’m going to quit. I wouldn’t know what the heck to do. I feel good. When I start slobbering, then it will be a different story. They won’t have to tell me when to quit. I’ll know.
McCalvy described Uecker as “choking up” when discussing the outpouring of fan support he received while in the hospital. In four decades calling Brewers games it was just the second time he’s missed a large number of games.
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.