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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Four teams are in on Mike Moustakas

Free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas is drawing interest from at least four clubs, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported Friday. The Brewers are the presumed frontrunners to land the infielder, but Heyman adds that the Angels may take the inside edge as Moustakas hails from the San Fernando Valley and has invested in charity efforts in California over the last year. The Phillies and Padres, on the other hand, have been involved to a lesser degree as they’re both thought to be in hot pursuit of fellow free agent third baseman/shortstop Manny Machado, though their interest in the veteran Moustakas could ramp right back up should they lose out on Machado in the weeks to come.

I thought this film was one that they only sold with a brown paper wrapper….

 

QLE Posted: February 17, 2019 at 04:15 AM | 44 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, brewers, mike moustakas, padres, phillies

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 17, 2019 at 12:48 PM (#5815990)
I kinda get the lack of interest in some free agents, like Adam Jones, but Moustakas is a guy whose lack of market really baffles me. Good power, good defense, pretty young for a free agent, seems like a few teams could use him. Like, what if the Braves had him instead of messing around with Jose Bautista last year?
   2. Walt Davis Posted: February 17, 2019 at 03:08 PM (#5816000)
invested in charity efforts

I hope he's getting a good return.
   3. JRVJ Posted: February 17, 2019 at 03:10 PM (#5816001)
I could see the Phillies being interested as a fail-safe if they don't sign Machado. To a lesser extent, I could say the same for the Padres.

Not all that clear on what the Brewers are thinking (they, more than anybody else, should know that keeping Moustakas would help them).


Haven't studied the Angels recently, so I won't opine on them.
   4. tshipman Posted: February 17, 2019 at 03:13 PM (#5816002)
Moustakas is a guy whose lack of market really baffles me


Let me try to help clear this up:

He's not very good.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 17, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5816004)
Really? He's been a 2+ WAR player in each of the last three seasons he has been healthy. He's not a superstar but that's a solid starter that could help some teams.
   6. tshipman Posted: February 17, 2019 at 03:39 PM (#5816006)
Really? He's been a 2+ WAR player in each of the last three seasons he has been healthy. He's not a superstar but that's a solid starter that could help some teams.


He's been worth more than 2 WAR once in the last three years. Next year is his age 30 season.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 17, 2019 at 04:01 PM (#5816008)
That's a very selective way of looking at it. He was worth 1.8 rWAR but 2.1 fWAR in 2017, and was hurt most of 2016. ZIPS projects him to be a 3.2 WAR player with a comp of Graig Nettles, so to suggest he's "not very good" is pretty far off base I think.
   8. Master of the Horse Posted: February 17, 2019 at 04:03 PM (#5816009)
6 I think is right. Everyone on the Brewers likes Moose, but he has to play third which pushes Shaw to second. That kind of worked the last two months of last season but is that really a good full season plan? I guess if Stearns and Counsell say yes I can go with it but not with a lot of energy.
   9. JJ1986 Posted: February 17, 2019 at 05:03 PM (#5816011)
Moose to the Brewers.
   10. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: February 17, 2019 at 05:05 PM (#5816012)
Re: 8:

What does that have to do with what shipman is claiming? So he's not a perfect fit for the Brewers, but by both recent performance and projections, he's a roughly average everyday 3B (probably a smidge above average). Maybe that's what shipman meant by "not very good," but it's not the impression I got.

There should be a healthy market for a player like that.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 17, 2019 at 05:08 PM (#5816013)
Moose goes to Milwaukee on a one-year, $9M deal. Seems like he would have helped Cleveland (move Ramirez to 2B, Kipnis to OF), Philly, San Diego, probably the Angels. Maybe Machado was holding up his market, but I am still kinda baffled by his market.
   12. JRVJ Posted: February 17, 2019 at 05:14 PM (#5816014)
Moustakas on a one-year, US$9MM made sense for the Brewers, the Padres, the Phillies and maybe the Angels (as above, I haven't studied the Angels).

In any case, one more player off the board.
   13. tshipman Posted: February 17, 2019 at 05:33 PM (#5816015)
by both recent performance and projections, he's a roughly average everyday 3B (probably a smidge above average). Maybe that's what shipman meant by "not very good," but it's not the impression I got.



You could just ask.

By recent performance and general aging curve, I'd expect him to be a below average to average 3B. There are a lot of guys who look like that. Machado not being signed is way more surprising to me than Moustakas.
   14. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 17, 2019 at 06:28 PM (#5816019)
Moose goes to Milwaukee on a one-year, $9M deal. Seems like he would have helped Cleveland (move Ramirez to 2B, Kipnis to OF), Philly, San Diego, probably the Angels. Maybe Machado was holding up his market, but I am still kinda baffled by his market.
The Angels need a place to play Zack Cozart, and to see if Taylor Ward has any sort of career in him. Moose would have been, at best, a minor upgrade, and the Angels have better things to spend money on. They really have a LOT of areas that could use improvement, but that doesn't seem like something they're looking to find on the FA market this year.
   15. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: February 17, 2019 at 07:02 PM (#5816021)
$10m it turns out, plus a mutual option for 2020.

I agree that Cleveland makes a ton of sense as a destination, but they're reducing payroll, not adding.

This is the world we live in now.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 17, 2019 at 10:52 PM (#5816033)
Cozart can play 2B, and you can ease Taylor Ward (who projects to be replacement level and was pretty unremarkable until last year) into the lineup as a backup catcher/RH bat at 3B/1B/DH a few times a week. To suggest he's the reason you can't sign Moustakas is kinda silly to me. I mean, a few years ago "you need depth!" was all the rage in analytics, and now its, "yea, we don't need these free agents because we have a guy that hit a .950 OPS at age 24 in the Pacific Coast League."
   17. donlock Posted: February 18, 2019 at 12:22 AM (#5816037)
I think this is a case of the Brewers bidding against themselves. I can't imagine the other teams mentioned going up to $9 or $10 million for him. I would imagine a deal about $5-6 mil, like the one that he got finally from KC last year. The Royals only kept him until they could flip him in July for two minor leaguers.

Did Milwaukee really buy out his $1 million option on the $5 million deal he signed with KC, then offer him $9 million? The Brewers also traded three players for Johnathan Schoop, played him at SS and then released him. Shaw played 3b well for them. Now Mike M. will play there and Shaw goes back to 2b. Odd decisions by the GM.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: February 18, 2019 at 12:50 AM (#5816039)
Hard to say. LeMahieu and Lowrie are both more defensively flexible and made better baseball sense for the Brewers than Moose but they signed for 2/$24 and 2/$20 so 1/$10 for Moose sounds about right. They probably should have been in on Dozier (1/$9). I've got to assume they've decided Marwin will be too expensive (which I hope is good news for Marwin). The lower end options were Flores (1/$4.25), Freese (1/4.5), Asdrubal (1/$3.5) ... and wherever Josh Harrison ends up moneywise (and I might have missed a couple of others). Those are RHB except Asdrubal whose defense leaves a bit to be desired so Moose is probably the best fit for the Brewers.
   19. bbmck Posted: February 18, 2019 at 02:55 AM (#5816043)
Link: Per an announcement from the Brewers, third baseman Mike Moustakas and relief pitcher Joakim Soria declined their player options for 2019. After waiting out the market in hopes of receiving a long-term contract last offseason, Moustakas returned to the Kansas City Royals on a one-year deal worth $5.5 million that included a $15 million mutual option for 2019.

Officially Moustakas declined a $15mil mutual option. Even if the Brewers declined they still saved money.
   20. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 18, 2019 at 09:39 AM (#5816064)
and was hurt most of 2016


In what world is that a point in his favor, w/r/t being worth more in free agency?
   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 18, 2019 at 10:25 AM (#5816072)

In what world is that a point in his favor, w/r/t being worth more in free agency?


The argument was he's not a 2 WAR player, and the only reason he wasn't in 2016 was because he had a freak knee injury that he hasn't had any problems with since.
   22. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 18, 2019 at 10:54 AM (#5816091)
The argument was he's not a 2 WAR player, and the only reason he wasn't in 2016 was because he had a freak knee injury that he hasn't had any problems with since.


He wasn't a 2-WAR player that year because he was hurt, and while not being a 2-WAR player because you were hurt is probably less bad than not being a 2-WAR player because you were kind of shitty, it's still not a good thing.

(Also, his injury seems to have cost him some defensive range, so "hasn't had any problems since" feels a bit glib.)
   23. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 18, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5816092)
Officially Moustakas declined a $15mil mutual option.
Ouch. Massively overestimating his market is getting to be an annual thing for him.
   24. Nasty Nate Posted: February 18, 2019 at 11:07 AM (#5816093)
Maybe he knew the Brewers were going to decline their half of the $15m option and so he took the $1m. That's not overestimating his market - a mutual option is designed to almost always be declined.
   25. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 18, 2019 at 11:28 AM (#5816097)

He wasn't a 2-WAR player that year because he was hurt, and while not being a 2-WAR player because you were hurt is probably less bad than not being a 2-WAR player because you were kind of shitty, it's still not a good thing.


Who said it was a good thing? My only point was that when he's been healthy, he's been average to above-average. If you want to knock him for injury, fine, but it was a freak injury that has not seemed to have any lingering issues so I don't know why it would be a concern going forward.

If it is the opinion of people here that Moose is "below average" or a "marginal upgrade" from Taylor Ward, that's their opinion. But teams are not in the opinion business anymore, they use analytics. The public analytics project Moose as a 3 WAR player (Steamer 2.8, ZIPS 3.2). Maybe proprietary projections forewarn something much, much different, but it is baffling to me that a 2-3 WAR player at age 30 has to settle for a one year, $9 million deal.
   26. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 18, 2019 at 11:44 AM (#5816101)
it was a freak injury that has not seemed to have any lingering issues


Other than, as I noted, the apparent loss of a decent chunk of his defensive range.
   27. Nasty Nate Posted: February 18, 2019 at 11:49 AM (#5816103)
but it is baffling to me that a 2-3 WAR player at age 30 has to settle for a one year, $9 million deal.
Was there ever really a time that players like that did much better?
   28. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: February 18, 2019 at 11:54 AM (#5816107)
A friend of my brother's played A ball with Moose and reports that he was the laziest athlete in history.
   29. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 18, 2019 at 12:04 PM (#5816114)


Other than, as I noted, the apparent loss of a decent chunk of his defensive range.


It tooks a hit in 2017 and bounced back quite a bit last year. He's still an average defender. I can't imagine that took him down to being a $9 million player.


Was there ever really a time that players like that did much better?


I mean the consensus analysis prior to the market downturn seemed to peg free agents at $8M per win, so...yea. Like Justin Turner was projected to be a 3.8 WAR player and got a 4/$64M deal just a few years ago, and it seems like Moose is what, 75% of the player Turner is at a younger age.
   30. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 18, 2019 at 12:21 PM (#5816122)
It tooks a hit in 2017 and bounced back quite a bit last year.


His overall defensive value bounced most of the way back, but that was on the strength in improvements in other areas - his range is still well below where it was, pre-injury.

it seems like Moose is what, 75% of the player Turner is at a younger age.


Turner was coming off a five-win season when he signed his current deal, so I don't see that as a particularly good comp.
   31. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 18, 2019 at 12:38 PM (#5816130)
I never said they were equal, but Moose is coming off a 2.4 WAR season at a younger age. Do you think the difference between those two is $64M to $9M?
   32. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 18, 2019 at 01:02 PM (#5816137)
Do you think the difference between those two is $64M to $9M?


The cost of acquisition of marginal wins isn't linear - a five-win player is worth a lot more than five one-win players. $9M per might be a couple million low for Moustakas, but there's no question that Turner is a substantially better player, and his price tag is an accurate reflection of that.


Turner also has more positional flexibility, which gives him extra value to an acquiring team, even though it doesn't show up in a simple WAR projection.
   33. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: February 18, 2019 at 01:04 PM (#5816139)
Saying $9m (which is $10m, right?) is a couple of million low would put you and Retro in agreement, no, apart from length of deal?

FWIW, our Dan S did a nice job on Twitter, I think, of talking about how Moose got to be where he is, contract wise.
"The problem for Moustakas is that this condition largely still exists. (referring to a year old tweet about how...) Third baseman in baseball are well sorted in that the above-average ones are largely on the good teams and the below-average ones on the lousy ones.
ZiPS projects Moustakas as the #13 third baseman (in neutral parks for this). 10 of the 12 play for teams with (right now) a projected playoff % of at least 30%, another above 10% (Suarez/Reds), and the remaining third baseman is Vladito."

(then covers a few specific teams)
   34. Topher Posted: February 18, 2019 at 01:44 PM (#5816160)
I logged in to post what is in #33. The fact that nowhere close to all 30 teams are (1) attempting to compete and (2) spending "reasonably" on payroll means that Moustakas doesn't have nearly as many bidders as one might expect.

I think the other problem is defense related, but not exactly in the way that the above conversation has been. I tend to agree with AG#1F that Moustakas is a decent enough defender at third. The problem is that he's only a third baseman. If you could move Moustakas around the diamond, I think plenty of teams would be interested in a player that projects to ~3 WAR. Especially in a platoon role, he would have value for a good number of teams. But most teams these days aren't going to want to be limited in the positional flexibility and would much rather have a spot for a 13th pitcher on the rotation than somebody like Moustakas.
   35. RoyalFlush Posted: February 18, 2019 at 02:25 PM (#5816174)
A friend of my brother's played A ball with Moose and reports that he was the laziest athlete in history.


Maybe if your friends brother worked a bit harder, he would have made it past A ball.

   36. Master of the Horse Posted: February 18, 2019 at 02:33 PM (#5816175)
The problem is that he's only a third baseman. If you could move Moustakas around the diamond, I think plenty of teams would be interested in a player that projects to ~3 WAR. Especially in a platoon role, he would have value for a good number of teams. But most teams these days aren't going to want to be limited in the positional flexibility and would much rather have a spot for a 13th pitcher on the rotation than somebody like Moustakas.

This was like every third post on BrewCrewBall about signing MM. Good enough guy, it's one year so that's cool, but is this really helping? The supporters are a mix of people who want to bring the 96 win band back together, are advocates for depth, prefer Shaw at second base versus some combo of Hernan Perez and grab bag of dudes, or think a Moose/Shaw/Aguilar/Thames mix on the infield could produce 75-100 dingers.

I want Shaw at third so not wild about the move but Stearns is pretty ####### good so I guess, sure.
   37. SoSH U at work Posted: February 18, 2019 at 02:40 PM (#5816176)
A friend of my brother's played A ball with Moose and reports that he was the laziest athlete in history.



Maybe if your friends brother worked a bit harder, he would have made it past A ball.


His friend's brother is Francisco Lindor. It's his brother's friend who stalled out at Idaho Falls.
   38. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: February 18, 2019 at 02:53 PM (#5816183)
Supposedly the Brewers will give MM some reps at second.
   39. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 18, 2019 at 03:31 PM (#5816191)
Supposedly the Brewers will give MM some reps at second.


That seems like a really bad idea, but much luck to them, I guess.
   40. Master of the Horse Posted: February 18, 2019 at 03:34 PM (#5816193)
38--Had not heard that. I like disruptive behavior but Crew is blowing up on how my little brain thinks about defense and which players can do what.
   41. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: February 18, 2019 at 03:45 PM (#5816196)
It's ST, go for it. I wouldn't have thought that Shaw could hack it there - sometime people surprise you. (That said, MM has kind of slow feet, I think)
   42. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: February 18, 2019 at 09:52 PM (#5816279)
Maybe if your friends brother worked a bit harder, he would have made it past A ball.



I suspect Moose figured it out after a while. They were like 19.

He was a pitcher. He got hurt. It happens. Maybe if you weren't so intent on being a dick that might have occurred to you.
   43. donlock Posted: February 19, 2019 at 01:28 AM (#5816300)
I can only guess that the Angels, Phillies and Padres each offered Moustakas $8.9 million and the Brewers outbid them and snatched him up for $9 million. They sure were lucky there was a bidding war and they had a ton of cash.

Really sounds silly but that's about what well-sourced Jon Heyman would have us believe.
   44. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 19, 2019 at 10:42 AM (#5816340)
I mean the consensus analysis prior to the market downturn seemed to peg free agents at $8M per win, so...yea. Like Justin Turner was projected to be a 3.8 WAR player and got a 4/$64M deal just a few years ago, and it seems like Moose is what, 75% of the player Turner is at a younger age.


Prior to signing that deal Turner had consecutive seasons of 4.7, 4.0, and 4.3 Moose has 2.5, 1.8, 0.8. Those aren't remotely comparable.

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