As first reported by Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, the Braves have reached agreement on a minor league contract with first baseman Mark Hamilton.
Hamilton was a second-round pick of the Cardinals in the 2006 MLB Amateur Draft. He appeared in 47 games for St. Louis between the 2010 and 2011 seasons but has not been back to the bigs since.
The 29-year-old batted .265/.365/.458 with 12 home runs and 60 RBI in 89 games this past season for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox and Boston’s Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Hamilton will function as organizational depth at first base for the Braves in 2014.
His minor league deal includes an invitation to spring training.
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.