Despite waiver claim, an A’s-Rays trade for Yunel Escobar unlikely

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Yesterday the Athletics claimed Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar off revocable waivers. The two teams have until 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday to work out a trade. And, despite the fact that the teams seem to matchup pretty well on paper — the Rays got a younger, cheaper infielder in Nick Franklin from Seattle, the A’s lost Jed Lowrie to an injury — Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times says that a trade is unlikely.

Mostly because the Rays aren’t treating Franklin like a shortstop. They’ve been playing him at second base at Durham. And the Mariners, it should be worth noting, played him at second far more often than short in the bigs as well, even though he played more short in the minor leagues.

Escobar is under contract through 2016 with a club option for 2017. Looks like he’ll be doing that as a Tampa Bay Ray.

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.