After claiming the Opening Day starting job at third base over Pablo Sandoval last season, Shaw got off to a hot start in April, but ended up fizzling in the second half. He batted just .194 after the All-Star break and finished the campaign with a meager .242/.306/.421 batting line across 530 plate appearances, but was a useful source of counting stats in a powerful Red Sox offense, homering 16 times and scoring 63 runs while driving in 71. Still, with the Red Sox having a long-term financial commitment to Pablo Sandoval and two high-end third-base prospects in Yoan Moncada and Rafael Devers waiting in the wings, Shaw was deemed an expendable piece heading into 2017 as the Red Sox looked to upgrade the roster elsewhere. With the move to the Brewers, Shaw should be in good position to serve as the team's primary third baseman to open the season, though he may end up having to settle for the large half of a platoon at the position with utility man Hernan Perez. In addition, Shaw's acquisition figures to result in Jonathan Villar seeing most of his action at the keystone during the coming season, potentially pushing Scooter Gennett out of a regular spot in the lineup.
With the Mets hoping that David Wright (neck) will be healthy at the onset of the 2017 campaign, general manager Sandy Alderson expressed that he hopes to expand the 33-year-old's defensive repertoire in order to make him a more versatile asset. Specifically, it seems that the Mets are interested in having him take some reps in center field now that Yoenis Cespedes is back in the fold for a corner outfield spot along with Michael Conforto, Curtis Granderson, and Jay Bruce (with the latter two potentially being traded away prior to the offseason's conclusion). Reyes has only played shortstop and third base during his career in the major leagues, so there is definitely the potential for some growing pains as he learns the in's and out's of patrolling the outfield.
Wright missed the bulk of the past two seasons due to injury woes, but it appears that the veteran is on track to get back on the diamond relatively soon even after undergoing a cervical discectomy and fusion surgery in June. No specific timetable exists for his return, but general manager Sandy Alderson was adamant that Wright will be their starting third baseman, so it seems like the Mets are confident that he should be recovered and ready to go in the not-too-distant future.
The knee injury was preceded by a thumb ailment, and Moustakas was on the field for just 27 games in 2016. One particularly encouraging sign last season was that he sustained the power increase he showed in 2015 (.470 SLG, 22 homers) with seven long balls and a .500 slugging percentage in his 113 plate appearances. A detailed timetable for Moustakas' return hasn't been revealed, but he's on track for Opening Day, which suggests that he'll likely be able to accumulate spring training at-bats in Arizona in March.
McGehee became a free agent in November and after a month of evaluating his options, the third basemen decided to play professional baseball in Japan. The 34-year-old batted .198 and .227 respectively over the past two major league seasons and so would likely not be a valuable fantasy asset even if he remained in the MLB.
The 25-year-old third baseman was in a pretty awful situation with the Cubs, as he was not only blocked at the big league level by Kris Bryant and even Javier Baez, but a superior big league ready third base prospect was also waiting in the wings ahead of him on the organizational depth chart in Jeimer Candelario. Villanueva is essentially ready for a shot with a non-contender. After hitting 18 homers and making a lot of contact at Triple-A last year, he is likely to be given a chance to make another club, even if it is only in a bench role.
Peterson began the season at the Double-A level last season, but he ultimately got his first extended look at Triple-A and hit .253 with eight home runs in 46 games there. The 24-year-old was added to the 40-man roster over the offseason so he may get a chance in the majors at some point in 2017, but at this point it looks like he'll get the chance for regular at-bats in the minors to start out the year.
This confirms reports from local media about Kang's arrest. The Pirates are looking into the incident and are expected to issue a statement later Thursday night. According to Biertempfel, no injuries resulted from the two-car collision, but Kang fled and was apprehended shortly thereafter. He spent much of the season under investigation by Chicago police for a sexual assault allegation.
Duffy battled soreness in his Achilles/heel area throughout much of the season and ultimately underwent surgery in early September. He's been working through some atrophy since shedding his walking boot, but the Rays seem optimistic that Duffy will be ready for spring training. Entering his age-26 season, Duffy projects as the primary shortstop if indeed healthy.
A fifth-round pick in 2008, he broke through to the majors briefly with the Cardinals in 2013 but has been stuck down at Triple-A ever since. Curtis has routinely posted high on-base percentages, upping his mark to .404 with the Reds' Louisville affiliate in 2016. However, he does not have the other tools necessary to take really capitalize on the strong approach.