KC Royals Potential Departures, Vol. 4: Mike Moustakas
By Colby Wilson
If dealt, what could he fetch and who could be in the market?
In the interest of actually contending, the Mets and Astros could use upgrades to an actual third baseman. The Giants could stand an upgrade on Eduardo Nunez. If a logjam persists in the NL Central, the Brewers and Cardinals could be in the market. Even though Chase Headley is doing well at the moment, never count out the Yankees.
If you noticed that all six of those teams appear to be fringe contenders at best this season, you’re on to something. The real capital-C Contenders (Cubs, Dodgers, Nationals, Orioles, to name four, and the Rockies and Indians because I’m feeling particularly generous) feature No.’s 1, 3, 5, 7, 8 and 9 third basemen on the fWAR leaderboards from 2016.
What might it cost to hang on to him?
You probably noticed that Moose is a Scott Boras client. So is Eric Hosmer. And if you think that won’t factor into how teams negotiate with the KC Royals in trade talks and how the Royals negotiate with those players in free agency, you’re crazy.
Boras, widely considered by most front office people to be a mouse studying to become a rat, may be the reason t-shirts in ballparks cost $40 and beers are $9.50 but he’s agent to the stars because he gets people paid. Consider the following Boras clients:
- Andruw Jones: two years, $36 million one year after he hit .222
- Derek Lowe: four years, $60 million. Derek Lowe has never been good enough to earn $15 million a year.
- Oliver Perez: three years, $36 million despite being abjectly terrible
- Jacoby Ellsbury: seven years, $153 million and a swift decline thereafter.
Boras has taken special delight in torturing the KC Royals, albeit usually through draft slotting. He secured a $7.5 million signing bonus for Bubba Starling. He got Sean Manaea more than slot value in the 2013 draft even though Manaea needed hip surgery. He’s not taking a discount, for Moose or Hos.
How’s the new CBA factor into all this?
Somebody out there is going to pay a lot for Moustakas. If it’s not the KC Royals, the hope is that it’s an upper-market team (like, say, the Los Angeles Angels), which would give the Royals extra picks in the second and fifth round next June.
(Qualifying offer? LOL, son ain’t you hear anything I said about Scott Boras?)