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MLB Roundup 2/18: Mike Moustakas heads back to Milwaukee

And Rob Manfred said some things

MLB: NLCS-Los Angeles Dodgers at Milwaukee Brewers Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Moustakas signs one-year deal with Brewers

For the second consecutive year, Mike Moustakas entered free agency and never really saw his market develop. The third baseman isn’t anything close to a legitimate superstar, of course, but he’s an above-average regular and he just hasn’t been able to find a multi-year suitor. Last year, he had draft pick compensation that hindered his market in a major way before heading back to Kansas City on a one-year deal. The idea was that once he hit this market without the draft pick attached, he’d get much better offers. So much for that. We just never heard of any significant interest from anyone, and Moustakas ended up going back to the team with which he finished 2018. On Sunday, the third baseman signed a one-year contract around $9. This is a very good deal for Miwaukee, who is arguably the favorite in what should be a fun NL Central. Their starting pitching is still questionable, but they have a great bullpen and their lineup is back and loaded. Just like last year, this addition will force old friend Travis Shaw to second base. If you remember following Shaw as a prospect and his early major-league career in Boston, him at second base seems patently absurd. He wasn’t a disaster there last year, though, and the Brewers believe their shifting is good enough to hide Shaw’s shortcomings up the middle.

Rob Manfred talked about free agency

Rob Manfred is the commissioner of baseball, which doesn’t mean the best interest of baseball is his main concern. Granted, I think he genuinely wants to make the game better, but his main allegiance is to the owners who appointed him. That’s why some of his comments on Sunday are unsurprising. Specifically, his claim that money spent doesn’t correlate with how much teams are trying. That could technically be true, but also if a team is spending more they are trying to get better players and if money doesn’t correlate with success then the luxury tax is unnecessary. But of course Manfred is going to say that. It’s his job. The quote I have a problem with is the one where he lamented “negativity” around the game. Manfred, the guy who has spent his entire tenure speaking mostly about pace of play issues and everything wrong with the on-field product, can get all the way out of here with any talk of “negativity.” There’s an idea that baseball is boring from non-baseball fans, and while some of that is just the nature of the game, it doesn’t help when the league’s figurehead agrees with them at every opportunity.