Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Mike Moustakas will likely hit free agency at the end of the year. Should the team look to bring him back for 2020?
The Milwaukee Brewers and third baseman Mike Moustakas have a mutual option worth $11 million that both sides have to agree to for Moustakas to avoid free agency. The team would probably pick it up in a heart beat, but Moustakas will likely choose to look for a long term deal for the third straight off season. Should the Brewers look to keep him for 2020 and beyond?
How has Moustakas performed in 2019?
Well, despite a few nagging hand and finger injuries, Moustakas has been awesome. With about 20 games left in the 2019 season, Moustakas owns a .260/.331/.522 slash line in 520 plate appearances. He’s bashed 31 homers, driven in 76 runs, and scored 71 teams. Moustakas is even three-for-three in stolen base attempts.
He’s also split his time in the field between second base and third base. If it wasn’t for Moustakas, the Milwaukee Brewers would have started the season with Keston Hiura in the Majors, but they’d also have no choice but to stick with Travis Shaw at third base.
Shaw has been so rough that he’s gone from a likely extension candidate to a likely non-tender candidate.
Moustakas went to the All-Star Game, and there have been times when he’s essentially saved the offense.
What will the market look like for Moustakas
Great question. Each of the last two season Moustakas has gone into free agency, and he’s come out with a one-year deal each time.
In 2018, Moustakas turned down a one-year qualifying offer worth $17.4 million from the Kansas City Royals. He ended up signing a one year deal worth $6.5 million with the Kansas City Royals. Someone needed to fire his agent.
This past off season, Moustakas stayed on the market until February 17th. He signed a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers worth $10 million in 2019 with a mutual option for 2020.
Moustakas added another All-Star Game to his resume, and showed that he can handle second base this year. However, there isn’t a huge market for 31-year old third basemen who managed a 2.4 WAR. Moustakas could finally land the multi-year deal he’s been seeking, but it’s hard to see him getting more than a two- or three-year deal. From a dollars standpoint, would a bump to $12 million per year get him signed for a chance at a few years of security? That sounds about right.
The Milwaukee Brewers have Lucas Erceg in the Minors, but Moustakas makes sense in the current lineup. A two- or three-year commitment at a not-ridiculous-by-Major-League-standards salary isn’t out of line for the Brewers. The team has over $93 million committed for 2020, and they spent over $128 million in 2019. Retaining Moustakas should still allow the team to look for pitching help.
Moustakas makes sense for the Brewers, but only if the dollars make sense. If he’s willing to work out a multi-year deal at a solid rate, he could very well stay in Milwaukee for the next few years.