Geovany Soto to begin a minor league rehab assignment Friday

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Geovany Soto has been sidelined all season following surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee in March, but he’s finally getting closer to joining the Rangers.

Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Soto is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Friday with Triple-A Round Rock. If all goes according to plan, he’ll be activated when the Rangers begin the second half on July 18.

The Rangers have a .236/.278/.384 batting line from the catcher position this season. They have relied on a combination of Robinson Chirinos and Chris Gimenez behind the plate since J.P. Arencibia was outrighted to Triple-A Round Rock last month.

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.