The Kansas City Royals are going to be listening to any team interested in Mike Moustakas. The trick now is to see who will give the best offer.
Having one of the “hot commodities” in baseball is helpful for the Kansas City Royals. They had great production from an outfielder that teams called for. They also had one of the best bullpen arms/closers in baseball this year they were able to get a return for. Now, they have a solid third baseman that teams are going to be calling for.
Mike Moustakas is going to start having his name pop up all around the league. Teams will be calling and the Royals will listen. It’s just a matter of what the team offers.
Currently, Manny Machado is going to be the top prize for third base (I’m going to leave Josh Donaldson off the list because of his injury). He will also require the most in return. Moustakas is going to be going to cost significantly less but still require a decent haul in return.
On the year, Moustakas is hitting .258/.313/.467 with 15 home runs. Offensively he is hitting to his normal average, and defensively he is still performing above average. His wRC+ is 107 and his UZR is 0.8 and a 1.8 UZR/150.
So what team would Moustakas fit with?
This is where the list gets interesting. Obviously, whoever is interested in Moustakas is probably interested in Machado as well. Therefore, whoever doesn’t get Machado will most likely move to go after Moustakas. As of right now, the Phillies, Braves, Cardinals, and potentially Angels.
The Phillies could actually use Moustakas as a first baseman. Originally, I would have thought that they would use him at third base, but Maikel Franco has turned his year around. Carlos Santana is the teams first baseman, however, he is currently hitting .221/.358/.426 on the year. While he has 13 home runs on the year, Moustakas provides a better bat overall for the Phillies.
As of right now, the Phillies are 2.0 game behind the Braves for the NL East and have the second Wild Card spot, but only by 0.5 games over the Dodgers.
The Braves have a need for a third baseman, unlike the Phillies. Johan Camargo is the team’s current third baseman after Jose Bautista didn’t work out. While Camargo isn’t having an awful year, slashing a .243/.351/.425 on the year, Moustakas is a better overall player.
The Braves do have a third baseman in their system, Austin Riley, who is the 51st ranked prospect in baseball. While he is the future, the Braves are currently winning the NL East by 2.0 games over the Phillies. They are most likely going to leave Riley in Triple-A while they are still competing for the playoffs.
The Cardinals present an interesting case. They currently have a third baseman and first baseman who are productive. Matt Carpenter is the team’s third baseman and has a .260/.364/.513 slash. Jose Martinez is the teams first baseman and has a .305/.375/.500 slash on the season. So where would Moustakas fit?
Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic wrote about how Moustakas fits in with St. Louis and it is creative. Currently, second baseman Kolton Wong is hitting .196/.300/.332 on the season. Rosenthal suggested the Cardinals move Carpenter to second base, which would allow the Cardinals to get rid of a weak bat and give Moustakas third base.
The Cardinals were rumored around Moustakas all offseason. Therefore, it would be logical that the Cardinals are still looking at him. Especially being just 1.0 game out of the second Wild Card spot and 5.0 games back in the Central.
This was a new development this weak. Angels third baseman Zack Cozart is most likely out the rest of the year with an injury. This is significant for Moustakas because California is his desired location to play.
During the offseason, Moustakas wanted to play closer to home, which is California. The Angels were rumored to be in on Moustakas but decided to go with Cozart instead. While they are 12.5 games back of Houston and 9.5 games back in the Wild Card race, which brings an interesting scenario.
The Angels always think they are in the hunt for the playoffs, even when they really aren’t. The division is out of reach, no matter what anyone says. Therefore, they are going to be looking at the Wild Card. In order to avoid falling too far back, the Angels might be tempted to make a drastic move.
This could benefit the Royals because it would allow them to ask for more than Moustakas is worth, getting a better return.
But, time will tell.
As of right now, everything is just rumor. Trades develop quickly in baseball, especially when a team really wants someone. If I had to guess, I would believe Moustakas isn’t going to be traded until after Machado has been traded. This will allow the Royals to see what the “market” is for a rental third baseman.
As the days go on, more teams seem to be popping up as well. Which means the Royals might be tempted to do the oppositive of what they have been doing this year. Wait until the deadline.
Kansas City will always love Mike Moustakas. What he was apart of in Kansas City will always be remembered. The World Series run in 2014, where every hit seemed to leave the park. The run to winning it all in 2015. His defensive saves at third base. And who could forget the “MOOOSE!” chants at every game.
Kansas City has a special place in their heart for Moustakas. However, his story in Kansas City will come to an end this year.
What do you think Royals fans? Will Moustakas go to one of these teams? Do you think a mystery team will pop up? Which team will bring the best return? Let us know below!