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Brewers acquire Mike Moustakas from the Royals

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The Milwaukee Brewers acquired third baseman Mike Moustakas from the Kansas City Royals last night. In exchange the Brewers sent outfielder Brett Phillips and pitcher Jorge Lopez to the Royals.

Moustakas, 29, is hitting .249/.309/.468 with 20 homers and 62 RBI. He’ll play his customary third base while current third baseman Travis Shaw shifts to second. After last night’s game against the Giants, Shaw said he’s fine with that, as the Brewers asked him several weeks ago about the possibility of doing it if an offensive upgrade could be found. Which, OK, but Shaw has never done that, so I guess we’ll see how that works.

Phillips, 24, has had 24 plate appearances for the Brewers this year and has hit .240/.331/.411 in 299 plate appearances at Triple-A. He was once billed as a moderately high prospect, even if the luster has worn off a bit as he’s struggled to adjust to major league pitching. Lopez, once a top-100 prospect in all of baseball, has struggled considerably in the past couple of years, with cups of coffee in the bigs but too many walks in both the majors and the minors. Basically, each of these guys have some high potential payoff but have fallen in the estimates of most observers as they’ve aged.

Ultimately, though, Moustakas is a rental and you pay rental prices for such a beast. He has an option for next year, but it’s unlikely that the Brewers will exercise it. For now he joins former teammates Joakim Soria and Lorenzo Cain in an effort to help the Brewers make up the 1.5 games by which they trail the Cubs.

Oakland Athletics reverse course: will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.