So much for those initial reports that an MRI exam ruled out structural damage in Emilio Bonifacio’s injured thumb, as Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that he’ll undergo surgery tomorrow and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
When the Marlins placed Bonifacio on the disabled list Sunday they indicated that the plan was for him to return after the minimum 15 days, but now he’s out until at least July. Miami also placed Austin Kearns on the DL today with a hamstring strain, so the Marlins are suddenly very thin in the outfield with Bryan Petersen and Chris Coghlan now slotted in as starters.
Before the injury Bonifacio was hitting .268 with a .351 on-base percentage and doing tons of damage on the bases with a league-leading 20 steals in 21 attempts. Of course, the injury came on a steal attempt and despite all the running he scored just 19 runs in 39 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.