Joel Pineiro released by Angels, suspended 50 games for stimulant

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UPDATE: In addition to pitching poorly enough to justify being released, Pineiro has been handed a 50-game suspension from MLB for “a prohibited stimulant.” Pretty safe to say his career is over.

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Joel Pineiro’s latest comeback attempt is over, as Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Angels have released the veteran right-hander from Triple-A.

Pineiro was once a solid mid-rotation starter for the Mariners, Cardinals, and Angels, earning nearly $50 million over a 12-year career, but he hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2011 and at age 35 he looks finished.

He had a 7.48 ERA in four starts at Triple-A for the Angels and was previously released from Double-A by the Cubs earlier this season.

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.