Twins aren’t planning to trade Michael Cuddyer this season

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Via Joe Christensen and Amelia Rayno, beat writers with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

The Twins have no plans to trade Michael Cuddyer this season even if they fall from contention, a team official said Friday, adding that an effort will be made to re-sign Cuddyer this fall.

Cuddyer is an impending free agent and has around $5 million remaining on his $10.5 million salary for 2011. Most fourth-place teams would be looking to dump his contract for a package of projectable young talent.

But Cuddyer has also been the Twins’ best hitter, and Minnesota entered Sunday’s action only six games back of the Indians in the American League Central. Trading him, in some ways, would be like throwing in the towel.

Cuddyer, 32, is batting .296/.372/.467 with 13 home runs and 44 RBI through 363 plate appearances this season. He did tell CBS Sports’ Scott Miller last month that he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause.

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.