Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that Toronto has released first baseman David Cooper, who hit .270 with a .750 OPS in 72 games for the Blue Jays during the past two seasons.
Cooper ended last season on the disabled list with a back injury that has carried over to this year, taking him out of the running for a bench job.
Cooper was a first-round pick in 2008, but fell off the fast track and has spent two seasons each at Double-A and Triple-A. He’s hit .346 in 188 games at Triple-A, although Las Vegas is a very hitter-friendly environment and with just 19 homers Cooper’s lack of power makes him a tough fit as a big-league first baseman.
If healthy there’s a role for him in the majors, but he hasn’t seen game action since last August.
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.