There is almost no baseball here, but Roger Angell is easily America’s best living baseball writer. Maybe best living or dead baseball writer. His receiving the Spink Award this year is icing on the cake, but the guy has been amazing forever. We will provide latitude to link to his non-baseball stuff when warranted. This is warranted.
Angell is 93 now. And this piece at The New Yorker is him contemplating age and mortality. And it’s a beautiful contemplation. Neither morose nor maudlin nor dismissive. He faces and considers aging and death in a matter-of-fact way that I hope I am able to when I am 20 or 30 years younger than he is now. Hell, I know 40-year-olds like me who don’t have any kind of a grasp on it. To see a 93-year-old wrestle with it as well as Angell does is just astounding and wonderful.
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.