If “number of scouts watching a guy play” is any indication of the seriousness of his team to trade him, consider Cole Hamels out the door already. From Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com:
There were so many scouts behind the backstop at Coors Field on Sunday afternoon that you could have built a campfire and made smores.
Oh, wrong kind of scouts.
These were baseball scouts, you know, the kind with straw hats, stop watches, radar guns, and questionable wardrobes. All the relevant chapters were present: Texas, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Miami, San Francisco, the Dodgers and Angels. There were more than that, in fact.
All of the teams present make sense except for maybe the Giants who don’t need pitching as bad as hitting, but the sheer number of scouts impressed a lot of people who cover the Phillies every day, so it was clearly unusual. Not that wanting Hamels would be unusual for anyone, but still.
Biggest takeaway from this: next time you’re at the ballgame, look for the straw hats and questionable wardrobes, because Salisbury is dead on with that. I’d add “polo shirt tucked in to dockers,” but that may be included in the “questionable wardrobe” part. The radar guns are a giveaway, but they don’t all hold guns, so this is useful for scout spotting.
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.