Brewers sign Will Middlebrooks

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Third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who was non-tendered by the Padres earlier this month, has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Brewers.

It’s a good landing spot for Middlebrooks as he tries to get his career back on track after following up a strong rookie showing for the Red Sox with three straight poor years. He hit just .212 with nine homers and a .602 OPS in 83 games for the Padres in 2015 and is a career .231 hitter with a .673 OPS in 315 games through age 26.

Middlebrooks’ lack of plate discipline makes him a poor bet to live up to his old prospect hype, but he’s still relatively young and the rebuilding Brewers don’t have a clear-cut starting third baseman ahead of him on the depth chart.

Angels name Brad Ausmus new manager

Brad Ausmus
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Former MLB player and manager Brad Ausmus will manage the Angels in 2019, the team announced Sunday. His contract will extend through the 2021 season, though it’s not clear whether a club option exists for 2022. A formal press conference will be held on Monday at 1:00 PM PDT to introduce the new skipper.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler gave a statement following Ausmus’ hiring:

Ausmus, 49, was also considered for a managerial role with the Reds prior to their hiring of David Bell on Sunday. He’ll replace longtime manager Mike Scioscia, who finished his 19th and final campaign with the club on the last day of the 2018 season.

A former catcher and three-time Gold Glove Award winner, Ausmus capped his 18-year MLB playing career in 2010. He managed the Tigers from 2014 to 2017, during which he guided the club to a 314-332 record and a postseason berth in 2014. After the Tigers declined to offer the skipper an extension in 2018, he was hired as a special assistant to the Angels’ general manager, and remained in that role for the duration of the regular season.