Great news here for the second-place Rays.
According to beat reporter Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, outfielder Desmond Jennings had no issues with his once-fractured left middle finger Wednesday while taking swings off a batting tee and is aiming to return to the Rays’ active 25-man roster on Monday evening for the opening of a big three-game series against the third-place Orioles.
Jennings was placed on the 15-day disabled list August 5 after suffering the minor middle finger fracture on a hard slide into the second base bag.
The dynamic 26-year-old was batting .258/.326/.419 with 11 home runs and 17 stolen bases in 104 games before the injury. Tampa Bay is currently four games back of Boston in the American League East.
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.