Is a reunion between the Milwaukee Brewers and free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas really inevitable? Let’s dig into the most recent reports…
There you have it. A reunion between the Milwaukee Brewers and free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas ‘seems inevitable’. So, why hasn’t it happened yet? If this deal really is as close to done, why not just put pen to paper?
Are any other teams in on Moustakas?
It’s still the San Diego Padres. San Diego has been linked to just about everyone this off season. They’ve been in on every free agent, and their prospects have been linked in almost every trade. Why not Moustakas, too.
The Padres have a ton of talent on the way, and while a short term deal for a veteran like Moustakas would solidify their infield, they’re not a contender for 2019. The Milwaukee Brewers are, and should be a much more tempting destination for a guy looking for a ring (and a long-term deal) like Moustakas.
What kind of deal will Moustakas sign?
A one-year deal with an option? That sounds about right. Any more and the Milwaukee Brewers overpaid. Any less and Moustakas needs a new agent. He signed a one-year deal worth $6.5 million with a club option for $15 million last year.
How good was Moustakas in the stretch run?
In 54 games with the Milwaukee Brewers, Moustakas slashed .256/.326/.441. He clubbed eight homers, drove in 33 runs, and scored 20 times. He also went 4-for-13 in the three NLDS games against the Colorado Rockies. He scored twice and drove in a pair.
However, he really struggled in the NLCS. Moustakas slashed only .138/.194/.172 in 31 plate appearances against the Los Angeles Dodgers. That also included an ugly 12:2 K:BB ratio.
How does Moustakas fit into the Brewers infield?
Well, he’s going to play third base while Travis Shaw shifts over to second base. Shaw was able to handle the switch last August and shouldn’t have any issues featuring there in 2019. Moustakas could also play a few games at first or sit against tough lefties.
However, signing Moustakas all but guarantees that Tyler Saladino is on the outside of the 25-man roster discussion. This also means that Hernan Perez and Cory Spangenberg won’t get nearly as much playing time as they would without Moustakas on the roster.
A Moustakas/Shaw infield combo wouldn’t be quite as good defensively as a Shaw/second base platoon, but Moustakas should out-produce a Perez/Spangenberg platoon.
Trying to work Moustakas and Shaw into the every day lineup for a full year might be a challenge for Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell. The move will give him an additional option at the corners and add pop to the lineup, but it also slows the team down, and makes it a challenge to find at bats for other infielders. Counsell made it work at the end of the 2018 season. Here’s hoping he’ll be able to do the same in 2019.