Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Brewers have signed free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year contract, pending a physical. The deal is worth $10 million, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports.
Moustakas, 30, was traded to the Brewers from the Royals ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline last season. Between both clubs, he hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.
Last March, Moustakas signed a one-year, $6.5 million deal with the Royals that included a $15 million mutual option for the 2019 season. The Brewers declined that option at the end of October and ended up waiting him out to save $5 million.
Travis Shaw had been in line to be the Brewers’ starting third baseman, but with Moustakas back in the mix, Shaw likely moves over to second base.
The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.
Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.
Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.
Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.