Nobody thought the free agent market would go the way it did this offseason, and there are a handful of big time players who have been impacted, including third base slugger Mike Moustakas.
Heading into the winter, the most likely landing spot for Moustakas seemed to be the Los Angeles Angels. They needed some left-handed power and they possessed a hole at third base. Instead, they went a different route and signed free agent shortstop Zack Cozart to change positions and play the hot corner, accommodating Andrelton Simmons.
The Yankees seemed like a possible destination, of course, but they want a short-term option so they don't block their youngsters like Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar. The Brandon Drury trade hardly helps along this theory.
As you can imagine, Moustakas -- who is coming off a career year -- wants a long-term deal, but at this point he might have to settle for anything if he wants to play in 2018. Unfortunately, that leaves him with minimal opportunities.
February 22, 2018…who’s more concerned right now Mike Moustakas or teams in need of a 3B? I’m starting to think the pressure is shifting to MM if he wants a job this year— TomahawkTake (@TomahawkTakeFS) February 22, 2018
There are only a few realistic spots for The Moose, and that includes his former team in the Kansas City Royals. The Royals were unable to bring back Eric Hosmer, but they can use that money to bring back Moustakas, unless they are comfortable giving the keys to the hot corner to former first round pick Hunter Dozier. Every indication is they've fully moved on, but as Moose's dry spell extends further into the Spring, how can they justify not at least allowing him to operate for one more season?
The Atlanta Braves are certainly a team who could be interested in a short-term option. One of their top prospects Austin Riley is on the rise, but he's at least one year away from making a big league impact. Johan Camargo seems to be their every day answer at third entering the season, but if they want to take a step forward, they could use another power bat to pair with first baseman Freddie Freeman.
It seems unlikely at this point, but don't count them out if they can get him at their price.
Regardless of where Moustakas’ market goes, he doesn’t seem to be a fit for the cash-strapped Braves https://t.co/q7t8maoEKX— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) February 13, 2018
If I had to make a bet, the most likely landing spot for Moustakas would be the Chicago White Sox. Yes, Matt Davidson is slotted in as their starting third baseman and he belted 26 home runs in 118 games last season. However, he posted a lackluster .712 OPS and doesn't seem to be their long term solution (after all, he's not so young). Moustakas fits perfectly in the middle of their lineup with Jose Abreu, and it gives them another piece that makes them one step closer to contention.
i don't know what the hold up is with Moustakas, but the man is in the prime of his career and is coming off a 38-homer season. He's a legit producer and can help a lot of teams in need of offense.