The Kansas City Royals dealt Mike Moustakas to the Milwaukee Brewers for Brett Phillips and Jorge Lopez. Moustakas has been rumored to be on the move at the trading deadline for the past few years, and this year was no exception with no fewer than a half-dozen teams inquiring what it would take to land him. Moustakas isn’t putting up the kind of numbers he was just a few years ago, but he is still one of the better all-around third basemen in the game and is believed to be versatile enough to play first as well if needed. To add to that, that Moustakas can DH on occasion and not hurt the lineup, and his acquisition makes a lot of sense for the Brewers, according to the Kansas City Star.
Moustakas is going to take care of the hole the Brewers have had in the middle infield by allowing Travis Shaw, who has been working out at second base, to shift positions, making the infield more potent offensively. Any liability that Shaw may be early into his defensive shift, the Brewers think will be made up by Moustakas being a more powerful offensive weapon in Miller Park than he was at Kaufman Stadium according to MLB.com.
The Royals bring in a pair of players in Phillips and Lopez, that while solid, most likely will not have the same impact that Moustakas did. Phillips is a decent prospect and very tools-oriented outfielder that can do a lot of things well, but is not graded by analysts as likely to ever be exceptional in any area. That may change once he gets a chance to play regularly, as Milwaukee had him in the revolving door between the bigs and AAA most of the last two years. Phillips was taken by Houston in the 6 round in 2012, as per Baseball Reference.
Mike Moustakas is the Brewers’ third baseman now, so back here the Royals will remember him for more than the home runs and that absurd catch. https://t.co/cFHvQNGotD— Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) July 28, 2018
Lopez, currently being used as a reliever, has started a couple games in the bigs, which makes him a potentially interesting piece in this deal. In very limited use this season, he has looked impressive despite a 1.475 WHIP. He will record some strikeouts, but his strength is more oriented toward getting grounders, which could point to him being a successful situational reliever if he got a little better command of his pitches.
For Royals fans, seeing Moustakas dealt after spending his entire career in the organization has been difficult, but many have promised on Twitter that they will greet him with his familiar “Mooooooose” call when he returns to Kaufman Stadium. Milwaukee fans have greeted the arrival of Moustakas just as warmly on social media, with many sending him greetings via Twitter.