The Indians lost their DH when they wisely declined to exercise the option they had on Travis Hafner. A possible replacement? How about Travis Hafner? Or, barring that, Jim Thome? That’s what Jon Heyman is reporting, anyway.
Hafner played in only 66 games last season, hitting .228/.346/.438 with 12 homers. Thome, who is seven years Hafner’s senior, played in only 58, hitting .252/.344/.442 with eight dingers.
So, no, neither one is an ideal solution. At least not unless they invent a surgery to turn one of them instantly right-handed and the rosters are expanded to 26, allowing the Indians to run a DH-only platoon.
But hey, famous names.
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.