Because the Dodgers can apparently never have too many current and former closers in the bullpen, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that they’re “trying hard” to acquire Joaquin Benoit from the Padres.
Yesterday reports had Benoit being pursued by multiple teams, including the Dodgers, so it sounds like they’ve decided to focus in on the 37-year-old right-hander.
Benoit took over as San Diego’s closer following the Huston Street trade and has a 1.88 ERA in 43 innings along with a 51/13 K/BB ratio. Last season he saved 24 games for the Tigers with a 2.01 ERA and 73/22 K/BB ratio in 67 innings and Benoit has been an elite reliever for five straight seasons.
He’s also owed $8 million next season with an $8 million option or $1.5 million buyout for 2016 as part of a deal signed this winter, so it’s hard to imagine the Padres getting a ton in return for a 37-year-old reliever beyond the salary relief.
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.