KC Royals: Moss signs with Kansas City
By Beau Eastes
Kansas City reportedly agrees to two-year, $12 million deal with left-handed slugger.
In an effort to add more punch to an offense that was one of the worst in the American League last year, the Royals are reportedly set to sign 33-year-old power hitter Brandon Moss to a two-year, $12 million deal.
One of multiple sluggers that hit the free agent market this offseason, Moss batted .225 with St. Louis last season and hit 28 home runs in just 128 games. (We mentioned he might be a good fit with Kansas City here and here.)
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Moss did almost all of his damage against right-handed pitching in 2016, hitting 25 of his 28 homers against righties. As we speculated earlier this month, Moss might make a nice platoon buddy with newly acquired Pete O’Brien, who hits from the right side of the plate.
The signing of Moss, who’s averaged more than 24 homers a season each of the last five years, mercifully means the end of the rotating DH idea the club floated early in the offseason. Between Moss and O’Brien, the Royals now have two players battling for time at DH that combined hit 57 home runs last season. (Yes, 24 of O’Brien’s 29 were in Triple A.)
The Royals will be Moss’ sixth Major League team in his 10-year career. He bounced from Boston to Pittsburgh to Philadelphia before landing with Oakland in 2012 and establishing himself as a legitimate power hitter. In just 84 games with the A’s that year Moss hit 21 home runs. The following year, 2013, was the best of his career as he hit 30 home runs with a .256/.337/.522 slash line in 145 games.
Moss was having one of the better seasons of his career last year with the Cardinals until a disastrous final month killed his final numbers. Through August, Moss was hitting .261 with 25 home runs, an on-base percentage of .333 and an OPS of .895.
In his final 26 games, though, Moss went just 9 for 91, a stretch that dropped his season average almost 40 points, down to .225.
Next: Keys to the Royals offense in 2017
For his career, Moss has a .241 average and .319 OBP. During his three-year peak with Oakland, he hit .254 with a .340 OBP and a slugging percentage of .340.
The biggest question mark regarding the Royals offense now is where does Cheslor Cuthbert fit in? Cuthbert’s out of options, meaning another club could pick him up if he’s sent down to the minors. Could he compete for the second base job?
With the Moss signing, Kansas City is likely done adding bats. They Royals still do have major questions in the rotation and will likely try to add at least one more arm out of the bullpen.