Angels release former first-round pick Trevor Bell

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Trevor Bell logged 95 innings for the Angels between 2010 and 2011, posting a decent 4.25 ERA and 62/31 K/BB ratio, but the 2005 first-round pick fell apart at Triple-A this season and yesterday he was released.

Bell is still just 25 years old, so the fact that he cleared waivers without being claimed shows how far his stock has fallen in a short time. And rightfully so, as he made 10 starts at Triple-A with an 8.27 ERA, more walks (24) than strikeouts (19), and seven homers allowed in 37 innings.

He should have no trouble securing a minor-league contract somewhere, but will have to work his way back to the majors without a 40-man roster spot and there’s reason to wonder if Bell is healthy after some past shoulder problems.

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.