Brian Snitker, Bob Melvin win 2018 Manager of the Year Awards

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Snitker, 63, is in his third season as the Braves’ manager. In 2018, he led the Braves to a 90-72 first-place finish, sending the team to the postseason for the first time since 2013. The Braves lost in four games to the Dodgers.

Snitker received 17 of 30 first-place votes. Brewers manager Craig Counsell finished in second place followed by the Rockies’ Bud Black, the Cardinals’ Mike Shildt, the Cubs’ Joe Maddon, and Dave Roberts of the Dodgers.

The Braves named Snitker the interim manager on May 17, 2016 after firing Fredi González. The organization went into a rebuilding mode and wasn’t expected to seriously compete in 2018, but a breakout season from NL Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuña Jr. and Mike Foltynewicz, as well as great seasons from Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis, Arodys Vizcaino, and Aníbal Sánchez — among others — helped the Braves challenge in the NL East ahead of schedule.

Last month, we learned that Snitker almost quit his job with the Braves due to a sour relationship with former GM John Coppolella. Coppolella later resigned as a result of his role in violating international signing rules. Freeman and current GM Alex Anthopoulos went on record giving Snitker a huge vote of confidence.

Melvin, 57, is now a three-time Manager of the Year Award winner, having previously won in 2007 with the Diamondbacks and in 2012 with the A’s. In 2018, he saw a 22-win turnaround. Unfortunately for the A’s, their 97-win season wasn’t good enough while playing in the same division as the Astros, who won 103 games.

Melvin received 18 of 30 first-place votes. Red Sox manager Alex Cora finished in second place, followed by Kevin Cash of the Rays, A.J. Hinch of the Astros, and Aaron Boone of the Yankees.

Brewers to give Mike Moustakas a look at second base

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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.