Angels starter Garrett Richards was diagnosed with a damaged ulnar collateral ligament on Wednesday, a day after an abrupt exit from a start against the Mariners. MLB.com’s Maria Guardado reports that Richards will undergo Tommy John surgery. That will certainly end his 2018 season and will keep him out for most, if not all of the 2019 season as well.
Richards, 30, compiled a 3.66 ERA with 87 strikeouts and 34 walks in 76 1/3 innings across 16 starts for the Angels this season. The right-hander has had trouble staying healthy in recent years, accruing only six starts in each of the 2016 and ’17 seasons.
Richards is a free agent after the completion of this season, so the timing isn’t so great for him. Once he’s recovered from Tommy John surgery, Richards may have to take an incentive-laden major league contract or even a minor league deal.
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.