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.
MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.
Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.
The entire camp was placed in quarantine.
“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”
Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.
The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.
“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”