Getty Images

Ryan Braun could play first and second base in 2018

20 Comments

Given the recent additions of Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich, the Brewers are looking at a fairly crowded outfield as they gear up for the 2018 season. One solution, according to club GM David Stearns, might be to shift veteran left fielder Ryan Braun to the infield. It’s not a new idea — speculation that Braun could see time at first base surfaced as early as October — but one that seems to have gained more traction this weekend, as Braun is apparently also considering trying his glove at second base:

It’s probably worth noting that Braun hasn’t played middle infield since college, and he hasn’t seen a major league infield (or a minor league one, for that matter) since his rookie season in 2007, the first and last time he played a full year at third base. He didn’t exactly take to it, finishing the year with the third-worst defensive rating in the league and 26 errors in 112 games — more than any third baseman had accumulated in a single season since Casey Blake’s 26-error run with the Indians in 2004.

While it’s not yet clear how serious the Brewers are about stashing Braun at second base, Stearns said Friday that he doesn’t envision Braun’s move to the infield as a permanent or full-time change. The most likely scenario still seems to be one in which Domingo Santana is traded, freeing up space for Braun to retain his position in the outfield, but the club doesn’t appear to be entertaining any serious offers just yet.

Marlins sign Brandon Kintzler to one-year, $3.25 million deal

Brandon Kintzler
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images
1 Comment

Jon Morosi reported on Saturday that the Marlins signed veteran reliever Brandon Kintzler to a one-year contract worth $3.25 million. The deal includes a club option for 2020 worth $4 million with a $250,000 buyout, according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.

Kintzler, 35, put up a terrific 2.68 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 13 walks over 57 innings for the Cubs last season. He’s been mostly good in recent years, but relievers in their mid-30’s have had a tough time finding multi-year deals.

The Marlins have a handful of players who could rack up saves this coming season, namely Drew Steckenrider and José Ureña along with Kintzler. The club will likely use spring training to determine an official closer, if they name one at all. The Marlins have also expressed interest in free agent Pedro Strop.