James Neveau of NBC Chicago reports that the Cubs have fired hitting coach Chili Davis.
Davis, 58, joined the Cubs after the completion of the 2017 season. Aside from batting average, the Cubs regressed offensively — slightly, it should be noted — in a lot of offensive areas in 2018, so Davis pays the price for that. His stint with the Cubs lasts just one year.
The Cubs’ offense waned in September as the team in aggregate put up a .663 OPS in 29 games. They went 16-12 in the final month while the Brewers went 19-7. That resulted in a deadlock at the top of the NL Central at the end of the season, forcing a Game 163 tiebreaker which the Brewers wound up winning.
Davis previously coached for the Athletics (2012-14) and Red Sox (2015-17). He will probably be able to find work elsewhere, though a one-year stint with an otherwise successful team isn’t exactly the greatest look.
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.