The latest MLB rumors could indicate that deals are closer than before with regards to Jake Arrieta, Mike Moustakas, and several other top free agents on the market, MLB's Jon Morosi reported. The speculation arrives as Morosi received comments from the agent representing those players and two others who have been mentioned as targets for various teams during free agency. Could that mean Arrieta and Moustakas will be on new teams soon? Here are the latest details on what was said and their situations in the free agent market.
According to Jon Morosi's tweet on Wednesday, sports agent Scott Boras said with regards to Moustakas, Arrieta, Carlos Gomez, and Scott Holland, they are "closer" to deals than they were two weeks ago. In addition, Boras said some of the deals are "only a phone call away," indicating that several of his clients could be joining new teams soon, or re-signing with their current squads. There wasn't much more information given such as specifics as to which player(s) he meant are "closer," but that group of four was mentioned specifically.
Of those players mentioned, Arrieta remains the top option for teams to try to acquire. The Chicago Cubs pitcher has been linked in rumors to the Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals, and St. Louis Cardinals, among others. Boras previously brought up pitchers Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer as comparable to Arrieta. However, it's said that he probably won't be seeing a contract in the $180 to $210 million range like those two players have. The Minnesota Twins, Milwaukee Brewers, and Los Angeles Angels are other potential landing spots.Despite winning the fan vote for last season's All-Star Game, third baseman Mike Moustakas probably shouldn't expect a groundbreaking deal either. While he tops the list of best hitters available on the market still, he had just a.314 on-base percentage despite a career-high of 38 home runs last season. The fact his OBP has been dropping and the fact he hit a lot of home runs during a time when baseball players, in general, are hitting more HRs, won't make great cases for him to sign a big contract.
Still, there are several teams considered good fits for him right now including the Cardinals, Chicago White Sox, Atlanta Braves, Phillies, and Kansas City Royals. One of those teams may have "Moose" signed to a new contract in the near future based on Boras' comments.
While Scott Boras' recent comments certainly indicate some optimism that deals are even closer than before, they should also be taken with a "grain of salt." Boras will continue to try to maximize his clients' deals as best he can, but based on how cold teams have been in terms of being buyers during free agency, the top free agents may need lower expectations.