Travis d’Arnaud was demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas two weeks ago after he hit just .180/.271/.273 over his first 39 games this season, but he made sure that he didn’t stay down in the minors for long.
The Mets announced this evening that d’Arnaud will return to the majors for the start of a series against the Athletics tomorrow. And boy, did he earn it. The 25-year-old backstop hit .436 (24-for-55) with six home runs, eight doubles, and 16 RBI over 15 games with the 51s. Sure, the Pacific Coast League is considered extremely hitter-friendly, but those numbers are pretty bonkers.
There was extra incentive to bring d’Arnaud back to the majors this week, as the Mets would have lost his last minor league option if they waited past June 27. Of course, if all goes according to plan, he’ll perform well enough moving forward that the Mets won’t have to consider sending him down again.
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.