The Detroit Tigers have announced they’ve acquired SS Andrew Romine from the Angels in exchange for lefty Jose Alvarez.
Romine, 28, will likely take over shortstop for the Tigers in the absence of Jose Iglesias, or at least attempt to. Maybe a platoon is the best option for the lefty. He’s primarily been a utility guy. Last season was the first year in which he had as many as 100 plate appearances in the bigs and he hit .259/.308/.287. His on-base ability was somewhat better in the minors, but most of that came in the high-offense California and Pacific Coast Leagues. There is little reason to believe that he’ll be an effective major league hitter.
His defense is supposed to be pretty good. I’ve not seen him play, but Angels blogs have noted in the past couple of years that he was the best defensive option in the organization who could theoretically serve as a big league bench glove. That’s not going to make up for the loss of Jose Iglesias’ superior defense, but I suppose that’s something.
As for Alvarez, he’s had 14 big league games, all last year, and posted a 5.82 ERA in swingman duties. He started 131 of 175 games in the minor across eight seasons, posting a 55-44 record and a 3.50 ERA while striking out 7.2 per nine innings and walking 2.2.
So, basically: your organizational depth for mine. And another option at shortstop for the Tigers.
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.