It’s surprising this hasn’t been a bigger controversy at some point over the past three years, but the Yankees are finally considering making a change in center field.
Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com hears that the Yankees are mulling over moving Curtis Granderson to a corner outfield spot and using Brett Gardner in center field. While the Yankees believe that both players are quality options in center field, they feel that Gardner is the superior defender. Hard to argue with them there.
While this sounds like a great idea on paper, it would be a bit of an adjustment for Granderson, who hasn’t played anywhere other than center field since 2007 as a member of the Tigers. He has played a grand total of 22 games (three starts) in left field over nine seasons in the majors and none in right field. Gardner was limited to just 16 games this season due to an elbow injury which required surgery.
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.