From The Trentonian’s Josh Norris, maybe the best minor league best writer around, comes word that the White Sox have scouted Dellin Betances’ last three starts and are attempting to trade for the Yankees prospect.
Betances’ stock has tumbled this year, with the 6-foot-8 right-hander getting demoted to Double-A Trenton after going 3-5 with a 6.39 ERA and a 71/69 K/BB ratio in 74 2/3 innings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He has been quite a bit better since the move, going 1-1 with a 2.41 ERA and a 20/7 K/BB ratio in 18 2/3 innings (though with five unearned runs).
Still, even with Betances’ stock down, it’s hard to see how a deal would work here. The White Sox certainly aren’t looking to sell veterans, and while they’ve steadily produced major leaguers these last few years, their minor league system isn’t very well regarded. Plus, the simple fact that the White Sox are high on him should give the Yankees pause about dealing him. They’re the same team that took the lightly regarded Jose Quintana from them over the winter and quickly turned him into a major league starter.
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.