Devin Mesoraco has been on the Reds’ active roster, attempting to play through a hip injury, for nearly the entire season. It hasn’t gone well, as he’s followed up an All-Star season by hitting just .178 and has been limited mostly to pinch-hitting duties because squatting behind the plate is a problem.
Today–nearly six weeks since his last start at catcher–the Reds finally placed him on the disabled list with a left hip impingement and season-ending surgery looms as a possibility for Mesoraco.
Brayan Pena has been filling in as the Reds’ starting catcher and he’ll never match the production Mesoraco provided last season while hitting 25 homers with an .893 OPS, but he’s done a solid job while batting .307 with zero homers and a .749 OPS in 31 games.
Mesoraco and the Reds agreed to a $28 million contract extension in January and manager Bryan Price spent all spring talking about how he wanted the 27-year-old catcher to start 140-plus games this season. Instead it’s looking like a totally lost year and his future is now in question as well.
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.