Rangers designated hitter Lance Berkman is remains on the disabled list, but they still weren’t impressed enough by Manny Ramirez to give him a shot in the majors and instead have released the 41-year-old from Triple-A.
Ramirez hit .259 with three homers and a .698 OPS in 30 games for Round Rock, including a measly .282 slugging percentage in 22 games since the All-Star break.
As general manager Jon Daniels explained to reporters in announcing the move: “Based on our evaluation, there was not a spot on the club for Manny at this time.” And since “this time” for a 41-year-old tends to be as good as things are ever going to be again, it’s probably safe to say the door is shut on Ramirez’s big-league career.
Ramirez has obviously become a sideshow recently, but if he’s done he finishes as a .312 career hitter with 555 homers and 1,329 walks in 2,302 games for the ninth-best OPS in baseball history. Laugh all you want, but the guy was an absolute monster for 15 seasons.
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.