Kansas City Royals: Mike Moustakas unlikely to return

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 15: Mike Moustakas
OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 15: Mike Moustakas /

After Eric Hosmer signed in San Diego, many fans and sportswriters have moved their attention to the Royals bringing back Mike Moustakas. After having a slow market all offseason, and having been a Royal, it would make sense. But does it actually make sense with where the team is heading?

Mike Moustakas is a fan favorite and the last remaining free agent of the “Cour Four”. After having a few buyers at the beginning of the offseason, his market has essentially disappeared. This should have benefited the Royals tremendously in working out a contract that both could agree on. However, Moustakas made it known that he wanted to return home to California. The Royals also made it known that Eric Hosmer was their primary target.

With the two sides seemingly accepting that a return was unlikely, the idea of his return has not been talked about much in the media. Of course, after Hosmer signed with the Padres the attention, for obvious reason, shifted toward Moustakas.

According to Dayton Moore though, the original feelings and the decision about a reunion not happening have not changed.

Possible Reasons 1

Let’s start with the most likely of reasons. The two sides probably know and understand that a reunion never was in the works. Similar to Lorenzo Cain, it does not sound like the Royals had much if any communication with Moustakas about an extension this offseason. The two sides seemingly accepted that they would not be reuniting.

When you think about it, that is a bit odd considering the type of season Moustakas had in 2017. Hitting a career-best .272/.314/.521 and a franchise record 38 homeruns, you would anticipate the Royals to have had some dialog with the former third baseman. Interesting enough, that does not seem like the case.

Possible Reason 2

Just because you can, does not always mean you should. I understand the Royals were attempting to bring Hosmer back, so after being unsuccessful why not go to the next guy? We are reaching a point where the money might be there, but at the same time, just because you have money does not always mean you should spend it.

The two sides already showed very little, if any, interest in a return. Therefore, forcing one now makes little sense. The Royals could have a litany of reasons why they feel parting ways is in the teams best interest.

One could be a health concern. Moustakas never looked the same after being hit in the leg against the Chicago White Sox. Perhaps his ACL injury is still lingering? They could also be worried that his 2017 season is not the “norm”. Lastly, in 2016 when Moustakas was out for the season, his replacement, Cheslor Cuthbert, did not do half bad.

Therefore, does the return benefit the team, fans, or Moustakas?

Possible Reason 3

The Royals are fully embracing the rebuild. After both Cain and Hosmer signed a contract that had a value of $50 million or more, they will receive a compensation pick that is between the first and second round. That means that they currently have four picks over the first 45 picks. If Moustakas somehow defies the odds and signs a $50 million-plus deal, the Royals would have five picks in the first 45 picks. When looking to rebuild, that is extremely helpful.

Even if Moustakas signs a contract that is less than $50 million, they will receive a compensation pick. Unfortunately, it will be a sandwich pick between the second and third round.

This was the original hope for the Royals from the beginning of the season. Before we knew what type of market this offseason was going to bring, the majority of fans and the front office officials were hoping for a scenario like this to happen. Maybe it is best to not divert from the original plan.

Final Thoughts

After missing on Hosmer, to me, it does not make sense to spend a lot more, if any, money. The plan was to build around Hosmer, not around Moustakas. Take the draft pick and start the building process again.

The Royals do have options in-house. They could go with Cuthbert at third base and see if he can replicate his 2016 season with more consistent at-bats. They could try Hunter Dozier at third base, seeing as how that was the original plan for him when he was drafted. Perhaps Ramon Torres can pan out as more than a bench player. Also, do not forget Erick Mejia, who was apart of the trade that brought Trevor Oaks to Kansas City.

The Royals do have options. Now it is just a matter of seeing what they have in order to know which direction they need to go moving forward. It seems as if that is Dayton Moore philosophy right now.

What do you think Royals fans? Do you agree with letting Moustakas walk? Do you see more benefit in bringing him back, or taking the draft pick? Let us know your thoughts!