The MLB rumors involving free agent Mike Moustakas now seem to center on the two teams he has the best shot at signing with, says Jon Morosi. The Kansas City Royals star now seems to have more of the spotlight on him following the recent moves made by J.D. Martinez to the Boston Red Sox and Eric Hosmer to the San Diego Padres. It seems now Moustakas will follow in Hosmer’s footsteps and head to a new squad, as the Royals appear to be moving on from both players.
On Tuesday, MLB website’s Jon Morosi reported that an “unnamed National League Executive” said the two teams that could be the best fit for Mike Moustakas are the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox. That was based on the current free agent market conditions prior to the moves this week. Of those two teams, the White Sox may now make more sense based on a deal that went down a day or so ago.
New York just recently made a trade involving the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays to bring Brandon Drury to their roster, providing them with additional help on the corners. That means the need for New York to add Moustakas to the lineup is less pressing. While it’s still possible, it seems to give the edge to the Chicago White Sox, a team that hasn’t been mentioned a whole lot in rumors this offseason.
Will Mike Moustakas leave his current team, though? The Kansas City Royals have made recent comments that seem to indicate Moustakas won’t be part of their roster going forward. As MLB website’s Jeffrey Flanagan indicated, comments were made by Royals General Manager Dayton Moore that praised Cheslor Cuthbert and Hunter Diaz, both of whom are third basemen. In addition, Moore mentioned that the team is looking to shed their previous phase of carrying a high payroll, which could show that they aren’t committed to offering Moustakas the kind of salary he’s seeking in free agency.
The 29-year-old slugger belted out 38 home runs this past season for Kansas City to go with 85 RBIs and a .272 batting average. That netted him the MLB’s Comeback Player of the Year Award. Over the course of his seven-year MLB career, he’s hit .251 with 119 home runs and a total of 379 RBIs. The two-time MLB All-Star also has experience as a member of the World Championship team from 2015 which would add a great bit of veteran leadership to the White Sox.
The team finished just 67-95, which was only slightly better than the Central Division’s worst team, the Detroit Tigers. In addition, Chicago was among the bottom third of the league in terms of home runs and RBIs, two categories which Moustakas could certainly help boost them in.
The White Sox have already said they want to add a “long-term third baseman” within the next year and Moustakas fits the bill. Signing just a one-year deal wouldn’t make sense for him based on his value possibly falling a bit at the end of the season compared to other free agents. So he would probably commit to the new team and the long-term deal, if it’s offered.
It’s mentioned by Morosi that Chicago should make the move to secure Mike Moustakas this offseason as he could give the White Sox the type of talented third baseman they’ve been trying to get for years. Otherwise, Chicago will need to wait another season and hope to get either Manny Machado or Josh Donaldson during the 2018-19 MLB free agency period.