A person familiar with the negotiations says Mike Moustakas and the Brewers are nearing a deal that would keep the third baseman in Milwaukee for a guarantee of about $10 million.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday because the agreement will be subject to a successful physical. The sides were negotiating a deal that would include a club option for 2020, the person said.
Talks toward a deal were first reported by The Athletic.
Moustakas’ deal would be the second in a row for one guaranteed year on the free-agent market. He rejected a $17.4 million qualifying offer from Kansas City after the 2017 season and returned to the Royals in mid-March for a one-year contract that included a guaranteed $6.5 million: a $5.5 million salary and $1 million option buyout. Moustakas earned an additional $2.2 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances, raising his total earnings for 2018 to $8.7 million.
Moustakas hit .256 with eight homers and 33 RBIs in 54 games for Milwaukee, which acquired him from the last-place Royals on July 27. A 30-year-old left-handed hitter, Moustakas had a .251 average overall with 28 homers and 95 RBIs last year.
Shohei Ohtani hopes to hit off a tee next week for the first time since Tommy John surgery.
“That’s the thought, but I’m not trying to rush myself,” the two-way Los Angeles Angels star said through an interpreter Sunday.
Ohtani, the AL Rookie of the Year last season, had surgery Oct. 1 to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament, and the Angels think the earliest he could be ready to hit in games is in May. Ohtani hopes to start the pitching phase of his rehabilitation at the end of spring training.
“So far, things are going as planned,” Ohtani said. “No problems at all. But maybe once I start throwing, maybe I’ll start having some issues. But as of now, everything has been going well.”
Ohtani, 24, went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA in 10 starts as a pitcher. He played 104 games overall as a rookie, hitting .285 with 22 homers and 61 RBIs.
Around the horn
The Mets have agreed to terms with infielder Adeiny Hechavarria on a minor-league deal with an invitation to big-league spring training, sources said.
If Hechavarria passes his physical scheduled for today, he is expected to start working out with the Mets on Tuesday.
A veteran of seven major-league seasons, Hechavarria, 29, played for the Rays, Pirates and Yankees last season, hitting .247 with a .279 OBP and .345 slugging percentage.
... Left-hander Aaron Loup and the Padres have agreed to a one-year contract that guarantees $1.4 million, a deal that includes a team option for 2020.