Oswaldo Arcia was Minnesota’s starting right fielder when he was shut down with a wrist injury during the first week of the season and now that he’s finally healthy six weeks later the Twins have decided to demote him to Triple-A.
It’s an odd move in part because Arcia spent most of last season in the majors and more than held his own, hitting .251 with 14 homers in 97 games for an above-average .734 OPS at age 22, and in part because with Josh Willingham also injured the Twins have been using light-hitting infielders like Eduardo Nunez and Eduardo Escobar in the outfield corners and are also giving lots of action to a seemingly washed-up Jason Kubel.
So instead of just sticking Arcia back in the lineup where he ended last season and began this season they’ll keep trotting out a patch-work outfield and force him to spend more time at Triple-A, where he’s hit .311 with a .978 OPS in 50 career games.
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.