Brandon Allen heads to Japan

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Having failed in 41 games with the A’s in 2011 and going unclaimed on waivers this year, Brandon Allen apparently didn’t see himself getting another chance in the majors anytime soon. As a result, the 26-year-0ld allowed the Rays to sell his rights to the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks on Friday.

Allen was an excellent minor league hitter, batting .283/.390/.543 with 63 homers in 1,043 at-bats in Triple-A, but he couldn’t ever really get it going in the majors. In 344 at-bats with the Diamondbacks, A’s and Rays, he hit .203/.290/.375 with 12 homers, 41 RBI and 137 strikeouts.

With youth still somewhat on his side, Allen could find his way back to the majors someday. For now, it looks like he’ll join Wily Mo Pena in the middle of the Hawks’ lineup.

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.