Royals sign Jon Rauch

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Jon Rauch, who was released by the Marlins and Orioles last season before sitting out the second half, has signed a minor-league deal with the Royals, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

Rauch will get an invitation to spring training, where he’ll compete for a middle relief gig in Kansas City’s relatively stacked bullpen.

Rauch was terrible for the Marlins last year, but it was only 17 innings and he threw 58 innings with a 3.59 ERA and 42/12 K/BB ratio for the Mets in 2012. At age 35 he’s nearing the end of the line, but the 6-foot-10 right-hander could be useful and the price is certainly right.

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.