KC Royals: Is Moose headed for his last weekend at The K?

Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

Colorado, like the KC Royals a last-place team hoping the season hasn't been lost before June arrives, visits Kauffman Stadium for a three-game weekend series that begins Friday night.

Among the Rockies hoping to improve their team and individual and lots in the National League West will be Mike Moustakas, the former Royal fan favorite trying hard to coax some more stellar baseball out of himself before his career ends. He still plays hard, still looks capable of launching a bomb every time he steps to the plate, and still appears boundlessly happy to be on a baseball field.

But time seems to be catching up with Moustakas. He doesn't hit like he used to and the home runs don't come as often. He doesn't play every day like he did for so long.

Simply put, Moose is no longer the player he was when, after the 2019 season ended, Cincinnati and its offer of a four-year, $64 million contract pried him away from Milwaukee, where he enjoyed a good season-and-a-half (43 home runs, 120 RBIs in 197 games) after the Royals traded him there in 2018. A maddening series of injuries struck Moustakas during the three unproductive years (21 homers, 174 RBIs, .216) he spent in Cincinnati before the Reds handed him his release in early January.

That made Moustakas a dirt-cheap option for any team willing to take a chance on him—although he'd be playing for someone else, the Reds remained obligated to pay all but $720,000 (the major league minimum salary) of the $18 million owed Moose for the last year of that fat four-season contract.

The Rockies picked him up during spring training; all, however, hasn't gone well since, making the 2023 season very possibly Moustakas' last.

Will this weekend be the former KC Royals star's last at Kauffman Stadium?

Unfortunately, Moose isn't putting up big numbers for the Rockies. He's played in 32 of Colorado's 56 games, has homered only twice in 93 plate appearances, and is hitting just .241. That average is better than he posted in any of his three Cincinnati seasons but, without vast improvement, Moustakas probably won't tempt Colorado to pick up his $20 million club option when this season ends. And it's hard to see another club taking a serious look at him unless he turns things around quickly and sustains that resurgence.

That might be too big an ask at this point in Moose's career. And, as we've pointed out before in this space, the Royals aren't likely to bring Moose back. That's why Kansas City fans who want to get what may be their last look at the star who helped bring the World Series back to town twice, set a then-KC club record with 38 homers in 2017, ranks ninth on the Royals' career home run list, and played third base so well, should consider visiting The K this weekend.

Next. Is this infield what KC wants?. Is this infield what KC wants?. dark