Milwaukee Brewers Trade For Mike Moustakas, Send Away Phillips and Lopez
By Max Neibaur
The Milwaukee Brewers traded popular centerfielder Brett Phillips and young pitcher Jorge Lopez for Kansas City power hitter Mike “Moose” Moustakas.
The Royals did not want to move their young second baseman, Whit Merrifield, so one would think there was not a trade match with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Milwaukee needed to add a big bat and had holes at shortstop and second base.
By late July, several teams made deals for the best available second basemen. This caused Brewers general manager David Stearns to make a move that took some outside of the box thinking.
A New Position
Current Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw will move to second base. The Brewers new trade addition affectionately known as Moose will man third base to start, manager Craig Counsell said.
Counsell said in a press conference after the game that Shaw is “really excited” about playing second base.
“Everybody says I can’t do it, and I’ll take that challenge to heart,” Shaw said to reporters after the game on Friday.
Shaw has never played second base, but he has played first base. He isn’t worried about ground balls to the right side. His footwork around second base turning double plays might need some time to get smooth though.
The Brewers manager added that Moose will be with the team as soon as Saturday (7/28). Counsell also said that Moose told him that he would be willing to play second base.
Everyone seems ready to work together to maximize the talent they have. However, this has to weaken a previously strong Brewers defense.
That said, the batting lineup will be potent. Moose will become a left-handed power bat in the middle of the order right away.
Moose has hit 20 or more home runs over the last 4 consecutive years. Last season, he hit 38 HR.
Brewers fans have been shouting for an addition to keep up with the division-rival Cubs who recently added starting pitcher Cole Hamels.
Without breaking the bank, Stearns quickly reinforced a good bullpen by acquiring White Sox closer Joakim Soria and Royals run-producer Mike Moustakas.
Many Brewers fans will be upset to see fan-favorite Brett Phillips leave the team in this deal. However, with Brewers outfielder prospect Corey Ray leading his league in home runs, outfielders continues to be a source of strength for Milwaukee to trade from. Jorge Lopez, one of the starting pitchers stuck in a roundabout in the bullpen was also sent to Kansas City.
Moving an outfielder makes sense and Moose makes the MIlwaukee Brewers better on offense.