Twins, Padres, Giants, Phillies all pursuing Ricky Nolasco

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Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press spoke with an unnamed Major League general manager, who said that the Twins are eyeing free agent starter Ricky Nolasco. Specifically, that the Twins were “on him hard”. The GM also mentioned that the Padres were showing a great deal of interest as well. Berardino later provided an update on Twitter adding the Giants into the mix:

Meanwhile, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish is hearing from a source that the Phillies are also pursing Nolasco.

Nolasco will turn 31 years old in December. He finished the 2013 season with a 3.70 ERA, his best effort since 2008. He also surpassed 190 innings for the third consecutive season. Nolasco was particularly effective for the Dodgers — in his first 12 starts with them after coming over from the Marlins on July 6, he posted a 2.07 ERA.

Brewers to give Mike Moustakas a look at second base

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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.