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Thursday, March 08, 2018

Mike Moustakas returning to Royals

Boras lost this one.

- Mike Moustakas has agreed to a one-year deal with a mutual second-year option with the Kansas City Royals, according to sources. The deal, which was first reported by Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan, guarantees him $6.5 million and can max out at $22.7 million.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2018 at 10:26 PM | 109 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: free agents, mike moustakas, royals

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   1. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: March 08, 2018 at 11:01 PM (#5635773)
This offseason has been nuts. A generally well-regarded third baseman defensively who just hit 38 homers got less than half of the guaranteed money that several mediocre relievers got. Wow.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: March 08, 2018 at 11:01 PM (#5635775)
Link doesn't work. Here's one from the KC Star.

1/5.5 with 2.2 in incentives
mutual option at $15 with $1 M buyout.

Assuming it's a true mutual option that works the way I think mutual options work, at least he has injury protection but nobody wanted to beat this deal?
   3. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: March 08, 2018 at 11:11 PM (#5635782)
I know the Mets already signed Frazier but at this money they should have signed Moustakas as well. Make one of them play 1st base and even though neither get on base at a great rate, they would probably play good defense at 1st base. The Mets need a lefthanded power bat.

Doesn't a mutual option mean that both sides have to agree to it?
   4. puck Posted: March 08, 2018 at 11:36 PM (#5635791)
The MLB article cites a Jeff Passan tweet.


Mike Moustakas has agreed to a one-year deal with a mutual second-year option with the Kansas City Royals, sources with knowledge of the deal tell Yahoo Sports. It guarantees him $6.5 million and can max out at $22.7 million.
6:42 PM - 8 Mar 2018
   5. puck Posted: March 08, 2018 at 11:37 PM (#5635792)
I wonder if the Rockies will sign Carlos Gonzales to an incentive laden deal, or maybe something like this.
   6. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: March 08, 2018 at 11:41 PM (#5635795)
If Moustakas tore up his knee in July, the Royals would just say "Here's your $1 million for 2019, we'll pass on that option."
   7. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: March 08, 2018 at 11:43 PM (#5635798)
COLLUSION

Rip up the CBA.
   8. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 08, 2018 at 11:43 PM (#5635799)
I guess Mous should have taken the QO. Unfortunate turn of events for him.

Moustakas bWAR:

2016: 0.7
2017: 1.8
Career: 11.4
   9. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: March 08, 2018 at 11:44 PM (#5635800)
I know the Mets already signed Frazier but at this money they should have signed Moustakas as well


I'm not a collusion guy but this contract and Frazier's are just bonkers imo. You're telling me no club could use a 2-3 WAR 3B for more than this? It does bring a "are you even trying to win?" angle into the offseason imo. Frazier I kinda sorta justify because he's well on the wrong side of 30 -- but Moose is 29. No team wanted to go a 3rd (or FFS A SECOND) guaranteed year to get him? He's projected for 2.5-3.0 fWAR and nearly 580 PA. Frazier almost the exact same.

It just doesn't sit right.
   10. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: March 08, 2018 at 11:56 PM (#5635805)
2016: 0.7
2017: 1.8


That 0.7 WAR is in only 27 games though, and that same pace over 135 games puts him between 3-4 WAR. Also, he did put up a 4.0 WAR in 2015.

Honestly, there are a lot of teams that are tanking which doesn't really make that much sense to me. This isn't basketball where tanking could get you a superstar that can change the course of your franchise. The Angels have sucked with Mike Trout and there isn't a Mike Trout available every year.

It's a tough situation when "tanking" might make more money for the owners.
   11. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: March 09, 2018 at 12:21 AM (#5635811)
I have really enjoyed following the free agent signings, which have been pretty steady since camps have opened.
Not too much left, really. The 3 SPs, Holland, Walker, Lucroy, Melky, Reynolds. Hellickson? Feldman?
The rest seem to be the normal mix of old, hurt, or not-very-good guys who ride off into the sunset every offseason.


   12. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: March 09, 2018 at 12:25 AM (#5635812)
I don’t disagree that Moose deserves a deal,like Frazier’s st least. But I think Moose (and a few others) started the winter with such high demands that teams just stopped thinking about them. “You have one season over 2 WAR and you want 5/100? Good luck to ya.” Same with Martinez, probably Arrieta too. They aren’t bad but they wanted deals that superstsrs get and they aren’t superstars.
   13. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: March 09, 2018 at 12:29 AM (#5635813)

I'm not a collusion guy but this contract and Frazier's are just bonkers imo. You're telling me no club could use a 2-3 WAR 3B for more than this? It does bring a "are you even trying to win?" angle into the offseason imo. Frazier I kinda sorta justify because he's well on the wrong side of 30 -- but Moose is 29. No team wanted to go a 3rd (or FFS A SECOND) guaranteed year to get him? He's projected for 2.5-3.0 fWAR and nearly 580 PA. Frazier almost the exact same.

It just doesn't sit right.


Well, a big problem is that most of the contenders have no need for a 3B. The Cubs have Bryant. The Dodgers have Turner. The Nats have Rendon. The Indians have a full IF - and are even looking to unload an IF. The Red Sox and Yankees both have kids they like a lot; though - Devers had a nice cup of coffee, while the Yankees 3B kids don't. The Astros have Bregman.

Go to the next level, the Rox have Arenado. The DBacks have Lamb. The Mariners have Seager. The Brewers have Shaw. The Angels previously added Cozart.

I mean, I agree to some extent -- but it's just a terrible, terrible, awful time to be a middling 3B. There are a ton of good young 3B around and they all happen to be playing on contenders.

That said, at these prices? Even the rebuilders should have been in on it - I mean, roll the dice on an injury and suddenly you've got yourself a really hot commodity.
   14. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: March 09, 2018 at 12:36 AM (#5635815)
Zonk - I wonde if Moose wasn’t willing to sign anywhere but K.C. at that price, I’ve been concerned the Yankees would land him on a deal like this but maybe he felt that if he wasn’t going to make the big money then just stay where is is comfortable.
   15. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: March 09, 2018 at 01:00 AM (#5635817)
Well, a big problem is that most of the contenders have no need for a 3B.


Sure, but the problem is that for one reason or another (and I have no idea how to fix this) there aren't enough "contenders".

Is it revenue sharing not providing a strong enough correlation between revenue and wins? Is it the injection of projections and big picture GMs now well trained in knowing exactly where they sit on the "win curve"?

More generally (and more simply): there are not enough incentives to WIN NOW.

How we got here exactly and how to remedy it (or if it is indeed a problem for the sport versus just one for veteran FA) is well beyond my pay grade. As of now, it seems it's well beyond Manfred's as well.
   16. Howie Menckel Posted: March 09, 2018 at 01:01 AM (#5635818)
I know the Mets already signed Frazier but at this money they should have signed Moustakas as well

debatable ideas, but they buy AdGonz at 1B, Flores UT can play there as a lefty masher, they think Bruce and Conforto can take a turn, and also Frazier.

even if we presume the Wright comeback is over, they also have Cabrera, Reyes, Cecchini, and TJ Rivera (and Rosario and Dom Smith).

zero sure INF All-Stars, but they do have options
   17. Stevey Posted: March 09, 2018 at 01:02 AM (#5635819)
The Indians have a full IF - and are even looking to unload an IF


The Indians were looking to add Machado. They don’t want to unload an IF, they want to unload Kipnis’ contract and move Ramirez to 2B. They should have beaten this offer, and moved Kipnis to the OF until a better solution presented itself.
   18. puck Posted: March 09, 2018 at 01:31 AM (#5635822)
@JonHeyman

CarGo is close to a deal to return to the rockies. Will be one year deal.
6:08 PM - 8 Mar 2018
   19. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 09, 2018 at 01:50 AM (#5635823)
Royals going to the bargain bin! I like that they at least are making somewhat of an effort by signing some guys who might actually be reasonably good.
   20. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 09, 2018 at 07:38 AM (#5635836)
CarGo is close to a deal to return to the rockies. Will be one year deal.


I would really like to know what he was asking for this offseason. He rejected a 4 yr / $80M extension from the Rockies prior to 2017, was he thinking that something like that was going to be offered again?
   21. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 09, 2018 at 08:07 AM (#5635846)
Is it revenue sharing not providing a strong enough correlation between revenue and wins?


Nobody could have predicted that endless free money would distort the priorities of the recipients.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 09, 2018 at 08:12 AM (#5635848)
Is it revenue sharing not providing a strong enough correlation between revenue and wins?

Ding, ding, ding. Winner.
   23. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: March 09, 2018 at 08:49 AM (#5635855)
Royals going to the bargain bin! I like that they at least are making somewhat of an effort by signing some guys who might actually be reasonably good.


The only downside for the Royals is that I was under the impression they wanted to give Cheslor Cuthbert a shot, though I guess his prospect sheen is long gone (and I suppose he can always play 1B or DH).

Still, at these prices - it's absolutely moronic for even the tankers not to be in on these guys (though, as Jose said upthread, it's possible Moustakas simply wasn't willing to go elsewhere if this kind of deal was the best he could do).

Some of these guys - especially the SPs (Lynn, Cobb) but even a guy like Moose - could become very tradeable commodities. Barring injuries of their own (or completely sucking), it's inevitable that the Marlins or whomever would find someone needing a SP. Moose's trade value would probably require either an injury (or a flop by Devers in Boston or Andujar/Torres in NY), but at this price - there's an excellent chance someone might need a 3B/1B/DH by July.

I tend to agree with Snapper that there's a difference between "tanking" with a payroll built for gorging the owner on money and "tanking" via signing a bunch of reclamations and potential trade chits.

Teams ought to be smart about it, of course - if you've got guys in-house that are reasonably young and you want to give them a shot, that's one thing... but who are the Marlins playing at 3B? I presume Dietrich is moving back to 2B (and he's not someone you worry about finding a spot for anyway).

I'm sure most FAs aren't exactly excited to be signing with a team that they KNOW is going to be looking to move them in a matter of months, but there are certainly ways around this. Give them more money, for one. Or - even give them a reasonable NTC... i.e., let them pick a few teams they can't be traded to without approval.

Maybe Moose wasn't down with that - but I struggle to believe that offering him say... 12 million next year + the same mutual option wouldn't have been enough to lure him elsewhere. I mean, 7 million dollars is a lot of money.
   24. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 09, 2018 at 09:16 AM (#5635864)
Insert GIF of Trump mouthing "No Collusion".
   25. Nasty Nate Posted: March 09, 2018 at 09:16 AM (#5635865)
Still, at these prices - it's absolutely moronic for even the tankers not to be in on these guys (though, as Jose said upthread, it's possible Moustakas simply wasn't willing to go elsewhere if this kind of deal was the best he could do).
To expand on this, another team presumably would have to beat this contract, would have to guarantee a starting job, and would have to suffer the draft compensation penalty. And, they would have had to have waited until now.
   26. Rennie's Tenet Posted: March 09, 2018 at 09:24 AM (#5635868)
 And, they would have had to have waited until now.


Yes. The Pirates, for instance, had an opening at third and then one in the outfield when McCutchen was traded, but once Dickerson was picked up all four of the corner spots were reasonably filled.
   27. Nasty Nate Posted: March 09, 2018 at 09:27 AM (#5635869)
And, they would have had to have waited until now.
Yes. The Pirates, for instance, had an opening at third and then one in the outfield when McCutchen was traded, but once Dickerson was picked up all four of the corner spots were reasonably filled.
Or the Giants probably would have given Moustakas a much better contract than this if he was willing to sign it 3 months ago.
   28. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: March 09, 2018 at 09:30 AM (#5635873)
To expand on this, another team presumably would have to beat this contract, would have to guarantee a starting job, and would have to suffer the draft compensation penalty. And, they would have had to have waited until now.


Yeah, the comp penalty... but the teeth have really been pulled from that one - depending the situation of the signing team, you're looking at a 3rd rounder. Nothing to sneeze at losing, but it's not like a 1st rounder.

Surrendering a draft pick shouldn't really factor in anymore for almost anyone - everybody's 1st rounder is protected and it takes a real effort (over the luxury tax, IIRC) to lose your 2nd highest pick.
   29. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 09, 2018 at 11:10 AM (#5635968)
No team wanted to go a 3rd (or FFS A SECOND) guaranteed year to get him?


If no team would give him the high salary he wanted, and he thinks he's deserving of that kind of deal, his optimal strategy is to take the best one-year deal he can get and try for the multi-year megadeal again next season. See, for example, Nelson Cruz in the 2013/2014 offseason.

Signing a two- or three-year deal at below-market rates only reduces his chance at that big payday. That's the optimal strategy for a depreciating asset. And it might even be the correct approach for Moose in the abstract, but what player thinks of himself that way?
   30. Lonnie Smith for president Posted: March 09, 2018 at 11:13 AM (#5635972)
I mean, 7 million dollars is a lot of money.


Yup. It's only a pay cut of $1.7m from last season, too. Win-win...?
   31. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: March 09, 2018 at 11:17 AM (#5635982)
It’s so gross. I’m rooting for a strike now.
   32. jmurph Posted: March 09, 2018 at 11:31 AM (#5635996)
Everyone is making a lot of reasonable arguments to support some of these contracts and contradict the notion of collusion. And I'm generally skeptical that owners/the league in the age of social media could properly collude to order lunch without it leaking, but I'm also extremely skeptical that the entire league all got smart in the same offseason. It's very odd.
   33. -- Posted: March 09, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5636002)
There was zero chance he was going to get a multi-year deal with a 2018 salary over the $17.4M qualifying offer. Zero. His most marketable skill is hitting homeruns and homeruns have been completely devalued by the new way hitters go about compiling offense.

The guy OPS+d 119, 110, 116 the last three years as a corner IF, the best of his career. Who is going to pay big money for a smidgen of prime -- maybe -- and then the declining years of a corner IF with that peak? Chris Carter went 123, 102, 113 at a year older, with even more dingers, got non-tendered, and fell off a cliff at 30.

Borderline malpractice by Boras.
   34. Sleepless in Munich Posted: March 09, 2018 at 12:13 PM (#5636029)
but I'm also extremely skeptical that the entire league all got smart in the same offseason. It's very odd.

I think we have seen a shift towards a smarter approach to free agency over several years. We have seen the demise of the "proven closer" contract for non-elite relievers, teams have stopped giving contracts into the late 30s, slugger are no longer paif for just HR and RBI etc. No longer paying relatively big money for average-ish players is just the next step in this process.
   35. Baldrick Posted: March 09, 2018 at 12:36 PM (#5636045)
Can someone explain to me what the 6.7 million to 22.7 million thing means? Is that the mutual option for the second year, or are there a TON of incentives?
   36. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: March 09, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5636047)
Mutual option with a buyout—Royals do that with basically all their free agents (as a way to defer a bit of the salary).
   37. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: March 09, 2018 at 12:43 PM (#5636049)
Everyone is making a lot of reasonable arguments to support some of these contracts and contradict the notion of collusion. And I'm generally skeptical that owners/the league in the age of social media could properly collude to order lunch without it leaking, but I'm also extremely skeptical that the entire league all got smart in the same offseason. It's very odd.


It is - but I do think there are enough outliers that a pure (or at least total) collusion just doesn't seem to fit either.

I mean, Hosmer got himself a pretty good deal. Maybe not the AAV he really wanted, but he got the years - and for a guy that I don't think anyone does now or has ever considered even a top 5 at his position, that's a nice deal.

The Cubs also jumped on Tyler Chatwood really quickly - and for a good 5-6-7 mil more than the pre-FA estimates put him at. I'm still glad the Cubs signed him - he was a guy I wanted them to pursue above even Darvish last fall - but in hindsight, it seems like they probably could have gotten Lance Lynn for even less than that.

Wade Davis got pretty much what you'd expect - perhaps even a wee bit more. A few other relievers signed what you'd probably call at least probable market-level deals before the bottom fell out. Lorenzo Cain got what I think you'd have expected.

If there actually WAS any collusion, it certainly seems like a few teams - at least, weren't in on it.

I think the biggest factor is that both the Yankees and Dodgers were sitting this FA offseason out. Take two of the biggest buyers out of the equation and I think you're inevitably going to see a huge market shift. Add to that the Red Sox were really only interested in one guy - and I think you've got a perfect storm for FAs having a serious problem.
   38. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: March 09, 2018 at 12:48 PM (#5636059)
I'm generally skeptical that owners/the league in the age of social media could properly collude to order lunch without it leaking, but I'm also extremely skeptical that the entire league all got smart in the same offseason. It's very odd.


“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” I’m not sure how that fits here. I don’t think the league has necessarily gotten smarter but I think you are 100% right, the owners couldn’t keep this covered up if it was genuine collusion. I think what we are seeing is a few things;

1. Timing - Between teams like the Dodgers and Yankees “needing” to get under the luxury tax for this year AND and absolutely insane class of free agents next year there was just not a lot competition for players.

2. Stupidity - I think a lot of teams are genuinely being dumb and following the idea that winning 60 games is as useful as winning 75. Not only is that wrong from the standpoint of competitiveness in the two wild card era but it is wrong from a business standpoint either. A fun, growing 75 win team is going to build fans, a 60 win disaster won’t. But this plan exists for a lot of teams and takes them out of the market.

3. Inflated self-worth - With all due respect to the FAs this year it seems like a lot of these guys inflated their value. Moose isn’t a 1/7 player but he’s not a 5/100 player either. JDM supposedly wanted 7/210...yeah right. Even Hosmer for all the kvetching about his worth is under $20 million a year.

The thing that I haven’t seen discussed much is what offers existed for these guys. I’d bet Moose could’ve signed a much better deal in November/December but wanted to wait out the market. CarGo turned down 4/80 a year ago then had a negative WAR season.
   39. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: March 09, 2018 at 12:59 PM (#5636067)
1. Timing - Between teams like the Dodgers and Yankees “needing” to get under the luxury tax for this year AND and absolutely insane class of free agents next year there was just not a lot competition for players.


What's going to be interesting now is whether the would-be insane class starts getting some jitters... Next year's class is only insane because it happens to include perhaps three of baseball's best in Harper, Machado, and Kershaw (if he opts out). In fact - I think the chances that Kershaw opts out just dropped significantly. If he doesn't make 30 starts for whatever reason, I might almost wonder if it becomes a less than 50/50 proposition.

Harper and Machado are both gonna get paid, I'm sure - with the Nats contending, I doubt Harper gets traded... but Machado? That seems likely - and it feels like the chances might have gone up considerably that the team acquiring him ends up extending him before FA.

So, the next tier? Well, there's Donaldson - maybe he belongs in the first tier, I guess. He'll get paid.

But beyond that? Dozier? Miller? Britton? Some of the others? I can see a lot of the filler deciding to just extend if they get a reasonable offer.

The bonkers class might ultimately end up being Harper and Donaldson.... plus a lot of guys who will find themselves in Arrieta/Moustakas territory.
   40. JRVJ Posted: March 09, 2018 at 01:13 PM (#5636075)
Free Agency involves risk. Players usually come out ahead, but not always.

To me Moustakas is the flip side of Jeremey Hellickson. Hellickson received a QO from the Phillies after the 2016 season.

The Phillies strongly believed that Hellickson would sign somewhere else, so they'd get a draft pick out of the QO.

Hellickson and his agent presumably put out feelers, and found out that there wasn't a market for him.... so they accepted the Phils QO.

Hellickson ended up with no security (he even got traded during the 2017 season).... but he did get US$17.2MM for his 2017 troubles.
   41. Sleepless in Munich Posted: March 09, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5636077)
A fun, growing 75 win team is going to build fans, a 60 win disaster won’t.

That is certainly true, but I think the conclusion that not signing these free agents is stupid is not warranted. The question for a team looking at a 60 win team without additions is: Does signing the group of say Moustakas, Morrisson, Frazier, Cobb, Arrieta and Holland make you a "fun, growing 75 win team" or a "bland, no-future 75 win team". I think it is more of the latter.
And it's highly questionable that you will make back the $50m+ you have to spend for them even at these "bargain" prices.
   42. Zach Posted: March 09, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5636079)
That's way too little for Moustakas. Personally, I think that Moose is a better bet to age well than Hosmer -- he's remade himself a couple of times and added power to his game. But one guy gets $140 million with seven years guaranteed and the other guy gets $6.5 million and one year. Tough break for Moose.
   43. BDC Posted: March 09, 2018 at 01:18 PM (#5636081)
one guy gets $140 million with seven years guaranteed and the other guy gets $6.5 million and one year

This also goes against my theory that once a high draft pick, always overrated: Hosmer went #3 overall, but Moustakas went #2. His mystique has not kept pace with Hosmer's.
   44. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 09, 2018 at 01:23 PM (#5636087)
I think we have seen a shift towards a smarter approach to free agency over several years. We have seen the demise of the "proven closer" contract for non-elite relievers, teams have stopped giving contracts into the late 30s, slugger are no longer paif for just HR and RBI etc. No longer paying relatively big money for average-ish players is just the next step in this process.

Then why are they giving fungible relievers, one year off the waiver wire, $20M contracts?
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 09, 2018 at 01:25 PM (#5636089)
Harper and Machado are both gonna get paid, I'm sure - with the Nats contending, I doubt Harper gets traded... but Machado? That seems likely - and it feels like the chances might have gone up considerably that the team acquiring him ends up extending him before FA.


If Machado is willing to extend the Orioles should call today and offer Machado to the Yankees for Andujar, Sheffield, and one of the Yankees lives arms that are further away.
   46. Zach Posted: March 09, 2018 at 01:25 PM (#5636090)
Back when the Royals were in the World Series, I looked up George Brett's twitter feed. A very infrequent tweeter, but half of the tweets were about Moustakas. So he's got at least one fan in KC.
   47. jmurph Posted: March 09, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5636096)
If there actually WAS any collusion, it certainly seems like a few teams - at least, weren't in on it.

Alongside the "there's no way they could pull it off" argument, I think this is the strongest argument against any accusation of collusion. Minus massive secret payments (and to that: see previous sentence), why would big market teams (LAD, Cubs, Red Sox, Yankees, for starters) in the middle of championship windows agree to go along with something like that?
   48. McCoy Posted: March 09, 2018 at 01:36 PM (#5636100)
Perfect timing. I just got him for the Topps HR contest. Who and where are the Royals playing on June 13th?
   49. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: March 09, 2018 at 01:36 PM (#5636101)
Moose is my favorite player (obviously!), and the Royals are my favorite team. And this deal still makes me sick.
   50. Sleepless in Munich Posted: March 09, 2018 at 01:48 PM (#5636109)
Then why are they giving fungible relievers, one year off the waiver wire, $20M contracts?

As I said, it's a shift towards a smarter approach, not that everybody is perfect. This offseason, five $20m+ contracts were given to relievers, three of them by the Rockies, who are not the farthest along the "getting smarter" path.

Apart from that, I think you oversell the fungibleness of relievers. There will be around 225 relievers in the Opening Day lineups, and not all of them project the same. With teams shifting more innings towards the bullpen, a relative increase of reliever salaries should be expected.
   51. Zach Posted: March 09, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5636113)
It sounds like Boras overplayed his hand with Moustakas.

The Royals started the offseason by extending an $18 million qualifying offer, which he turned down. Fair enough.

The Angels reportedly offered 3/$45, which he also turned down. Reasonable in isolation, but I'm not sure I'd be so willing to hang up on the only large market bidder and the only bidder offering multiple years. The AAV has slipped a little from the qualifying offer, but the total guaranteed amount is much higher. There were estimates that Moose might get 3/$60, but at that point the person who's going to make that offer should already be talking to you, right?

After that, nothing for several months. The Yankees reportedly made a short term offer, and the Royals end up getting him for about what you'd pay for a veteran coming off an injury or a down year.

As I see it, the big mistake was letting the Angels leave the table. After that, he had no leverage. He needed to either accept the Angels' offer or get another team to bid before they lost interest.
   52. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 09, 2018 at 01:58 PM (#5636117)
I'm also extremely skeptical that the entire league all got smart in the same offseason. It's very odd.


It hasn't happened over night. In recent years, we've seen the Trumbo/Chris Carter types draw little FA interest.

Front offices are now marching in lock step with measurements like WAR, and the market reflects that. I posted Moose's weak WAR numbers above, and people pointed out valid caveats, but you have to admit that there is a reason why front offices weren't all that enamored with him.

As Zach posts above, Moose had a couple better options this offseason, and misplayed his hand.

We are in a golden age for 3Bmen, which isn't helping.

Are we seeing more free agents per offseason? I thought Marvin Miller wanted to limit the number of free agents, as scarcity drives up their prices. Are we seeing more players on the market, driving prices down?

The rash of veteran one-year deals signed this offseason will only exacerbate the number of free agents next year. A self-feeding cycle.

Poor leadership by the MLBPA is a huge factor.
   53. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 09, 2018 at 02:00 PM (#5636119)

Apart from that, I think you oversell the fungibleness of relievers. There will be around 225 relievers in the Opening Day lineups, and not all of them project the same. With teams shifting more innings towards the bullpen, a relative increase of reliever salaries should be expected.


I would say RPs are more fungible than ever before. Look at the WAR leaderboard for RPs on Fanghraphs. The top-40 is full of guys that have never been good before, on had several years of injury or poor performance before their great season.
   54. geonose Posted: March 09, 2018 at 02:05 PM (#5636122)
#40 Makes sense except for one thing: Hellickson is a Boras client. Nobody thought he would accept the QO.
   55. Sleepless in Munich Posted: March 09, 2018 at 02:13 PM (#5636129)
I would say RPs are more fungible than ever before. Look at the WAR leaderboard for RPs on Fanghraphs. The top-40 is full of guys that have never been good before, on had several years of injury or poor performance before their great season.

Yeah, but you don't need a top-40 performance to help you. Even the 120th best season for a RP helps your team. And that's one of the kay differences between the markets for pitchers and position players. If you are a league median pitcher, you are an improvement for every team. If you are a league median position player, you are an improvement for only half the teams.
   56. JRVJ Posted: March 09, 2018 at 02:13 PM (#5636130)
#40 Makes sense except for one thing: Hellickson is a Boras client. Nobody thought he would accept the QO.


Right, that's my point.

Moustakas and agent misread the market and chose to reject the QO.

Hellickson and agent did their DD and realized there wasn't a market out there, so they took the QO.
   57. villageidiom Posted: March 09, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5636134)
OK, for your favorite team, let's do a roll call. Yes or no to the following question: For what Moustakas signed for, should your favorite team have been in on him?
   58. jmurph Posted: March 09, 2018 at 02:20 PM (#5636135)
For the Red Sox: if he's willing to play first, heck yes.
   59. McCoy Posted: March 09, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5636136)
If he wants to be a bench player, for sure.
   60. villageidiom Posted: March 09, 2018 at 02:22 PM (#5636137)
Following up on #57...

Boston: No.

They have Devers, cost-controlled, who projects to be roughly the same as Moustakas overall, though better with the bat and worse with the glove.
   61. Sleepless in Munich Posted: March 09, 2018 at 02:22 PM (#5636138)
Favorite team: Yankees.
Answer: No. Moustakas would be an upgrade at 3B, but he isn't worth the loss of two draft picks (second- and fifth-highest) and $1m in international bonus money. If they were looking for a short-term solution at 3B, Todd Frazier was the guy to get.
   62. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: March 09, 2018 at 02:22 PM (#5636140)
As I see it, the big mistake was letting the Angels leave the table. After that, he had no leverage. He needed to either accept the Angels' offer or get another team to bid before they lost interest.


Yup.

They were the only serious contender that was actively seeking a 3B - at least, on more than a one-year stopgap and there's also Frazier on the same market, who fits BETTER/would seem more likely to do a shorter deal.

Who knows what went down in discussions between Boras/Moose - but if Boras didn't seriously understand that nobody willing to pay beyond the Angels, who had other choices (Cozart, Frazier)... then this is really on him.
   63. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: March 09, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5636146)
OK, for your favorite team, let's do a roll call. Yes or no to the following question: For what Moustakas signed for, should your favorite team have been in on him?


I'll disagree with McCoy on behalf of the Cubs. They have nowhere to put him and even the bench doesn't have room for him. Beyond punting Heyward, the OF is still crowded - even more so - with Bryant moving to LF (which also makes the team defense worse).

Bench? Well, there's still Zobrist... plus Almora/Happ. I suppose he'd be a PH upgrade over La Stella, but the Cubs don't need a backup 1B/3B. They've got like 5 already. Even La Stella is sub-optimal because he can't play SS.

Pass. Even at "just" 5-6 million... I'd rather spend it another reliever.
   64. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 09, 2018 at 02:38 PM (#5636153)
The new world order of having 2.5 bench players also isn't helping a guy like Moose.
   65. BDC Posted: March 09, 2018 at 02:40 PM (#5636154)
Texas: I can't see it. They hope that Adrian Beltre can play most of the season at 3B; if he can't, then Joey Gallo would move back over from 1B, and their top AAA prospect is a first baseman (Ronald Guzman). It's not a great moment for them to sign Moustakas; maybe next year if he stays good and they see Gallo as a career 1B.

Trevor Plouffe is in the Texas camp this spring; I know he was terrible last year, but unlike Moustakas he has experience playing lots of positions, and will earn just $1.75M if he makes the club. Texas might get some use out of Plouffe, but it would be hard to justify Moustakas this year.
   66. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: March 09, 2018 at 03:04 PM (#5636167)
OK, for your favorite team, let's do a roll call. Yes or no to the following question: For what Moustakas signed for, should your favorite team have been in on him?

Giants and no, shouldn't have signed him. His bat wouldn't have played well in Pac Bell Park. And he's not worth the draft penalty.

Wish the Giants had signed Jarrod Dyson for what he wound up signing for, though.
   67. DCA Posted: March 09, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5636171)
AL team Athletics: Probably. Not a spot for him if everyone is healthy, but is that likely to happen? Either Olson or Chapman could have a sophomore regression. Piscotty could continue to decline. Joyce could fall off a cliff again. Or you could trade somebody. Even with everyone healthy and present, a good manager could rotate rest to get Moose in the lineup everyday vs RHP at least.

NL team Nats: Oh hell yes. Murphy and Eaton might not ready for opening day. And if they are, Moose is still 6.5M better than Brian Goodwin in whatever his role would be. And while I guess you'd have to guarantee a starting spot to get him to sign, I have little confidence in Zimmerman to be healthy or good, so I don't mind doing that: Rendon->2B, Murphy->1B.
   68. Khrushin it bro Posted: March 09, 2018 at 03:20 PM (#5636177)
Plouffe? Haha
   69. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: March 09, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5636180)
NL team Nats: Oh hell yes. Murphy and Eaton might not ready for opening day. And if they are, Moose is still 6.5M better than Brian Goodwin in whatever his role would be. And while I guess you'd have to guarantee a starting spot to get him to sign, I have little confidence in Zimmerman to be healthy or good, so I don't mind doing that: Rendon->2B, Murphy->1B.


Not to sidetrack - and sure, this is too much OOTP talking - but I kind of like Goodwin as a spare OF. Runs a bit, I think he's got more pop than your ordinary 4th/5th OF, and can play a decent CF, no? If he's in the mix for a starting job, I suppose I can see it on a contender... but he seems like a relatively nifty 4th OF.

Checking BBREF after saying that -- I see 251/313/498 with some speed... score one for OOTP - that's pretty much exactly what I generally get out of him, though the numbers say his defense isn't very good. Stretched as a starter, but a fine 4th OF.
   70. Shibal Posted: March 09, 2018 at 03:41 PM (#5636197)
What are the odds Moose is on the Royals August 1st? 10%

Anyone who needs a power hitting lefty this summer is going to give the Royals a call. And KC will certainly be willing to answer.

   71. dlf Posted: March 09, 2018 at 03:41 PM (#5636198)
OK, for your favorite team, let's do a roll call. Yes or no to the following question: For what Moustakas signed for, should your favorite team have been in on him?


Braves - Yes, of course. 3B might be the biggest hole in this year's (already iffy) lineup and their prospects for the position are a year or three away.
   72. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: March 09, 2018 at 03:55 PM (#5636206)
I don’t think it’s a guarantee the Royals will be sellers on July 31st. The AL Central is really really bad this year (40% of it is trying to lose games on purpose) and the Royals have been patching the holes in their lineup with enough boringly competent veterans this spring (Duda, Jay, Moose, Esky) that I can see them flirting close enough to .500 to keep the group intact.

I’m not saying holding tight would be the *right* move, just that it’s a plausible one from this ownership. (They were buyers at the last deadline.)
   73. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: March 09, 2018 at 04:17 PM (#5636219)
I don’t think it’s a guarantee the Royals will be sellers on July 31st. The AL Central is really really bad this year (40% of it is trying to lose games on purpose) and the Royals have been patching the holes in their lineup with enough boringly competent veterans this spring (Duda, Jay, Moose, Esky) that I can see them flirting close enough to .500 to keep the group intact.


Who beyond the Tigers?

I'm not saying the White Sox are ready to go all in - but they nabbed a crapton of really good prospects last year, several of whom (or at least one of whom) are/is already penciled in. I don't know that I see them actively ready to contend, but I think they're probably past the point of the firesale... and it wouldn't shock me if they surprise a bit and flirt with .500. Other than someone willing to give them something for Garcia - or gladly giving Shields away to anyone who would take him - I think the White Sox are done moving people. I suppose they might still be listening on Abreu, but perhaps not actively shopping him.

For better or worse - the current "tankers" are fairly well dispersed... the Pirates in the NLC, Miami in the NLE, the Tigers in the ALC, and that's probably it. Maybe the Orioles join them - depends on whether you think the Rays are out and out tanking or not (I might say yes, but then - why haven't they traded Archer?).

The Phillies have started thinking they're near the cusp. The Mets are the Mets. The Padres are buying. Texas ought to think about tanking, but they don't seem particularly ready/willing to go that path.

Hope springs eternal for most teams, I guess.

   74. dejarouehg Posted: March 09, 2018 at 04:25 PM (#5636225)
And this deal still makes me sick.


It's not like he needs a GoFundMe page. He played the market and his negotiating team (and he himself) blew it, specifically by not taking the Angels offer. There weren't a lot of teams with voids at 3B that are spenders.

(After getting burned by Hamilton and Pujols, why should Moreno go higher? The Orioles are reeling from the Chris Davis fiasco. Perhaps their Trumbo deal is more indicative of the market.)

Nobody wants to do the next Sandoval deal
   75. dejarouehg Posted: March 09, 2018 at 04:28 PM (#5636230)
Free Agency involves risk. Players usually come out ahead, but not always.


but they are incredibly petulant when they don't.

Active players rarely ever address the Sandoval-type fiascos.
   76. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: March 09, 2018 at 04:41 PM (#5636239)
Active players rarely ever address the Sandoval-type fiascos.


Nobody expects the Sandoval Imposition!
   77. DCA Posted: March 09, 2018 at 04:42 PM (#5636241)
Not to sidetrack - and sure, this is too much OOTP talking - but I kind of like Goodwin as a spare OF.

His major league stats look nice, but he's got a career 736 OPS in AAA (693 last year) and 696 OPS in AA in much larger sample sizes. I don't think he's garbage, but he's not better than replacement level.
   78. Walt Davis Posted: March 09, 2018 at 05:27 PM (#5636257)
teams shifting more innings towards the bullpen, a relative increase of reliever salaries should be expected

It is true that teams are shifting innings to the bullpen but that has required expanding the bullpen. Individual relievers are not pitching more innings therefore individual relievers are not deserving of more money. So more money on the bullpen sure, higher AAV for relievers no.

And it's just been a shift of 50-60 innings over the last two years, call it 1/3 of a starter. That justifies shifting something like a max of $5-6 M over to spread among your top 5 relievers. (Note, that's equivalent to a team with a $75-90 M rotation.) Plus the whole point of shifting innings to relievers is their cheap availability and endless supply.

Snapper exaggerated with $20 M. The contracts that flummox:

Tommy Hunter 2/$18, age 31 -- he's been a full-time reliever for the last 5 years, 132 ERA+ which is actually pretty standard for a leveraged reliever.
He's been a consistent 60 inning guy but doesn't strike a lot of guys out. Credited with 5 WAR over those 5 seasons.

Now look at his transaction history. Traded by the O's to the Cubs for Junior Lake. Signed as an FA by the Indians for $2 M for 2016 ... released. Signed as an FA by the Rays for $1.4 M for 2017. Now he's worth 2/$18?

Mike Minor 3/$28, age 30 -- He missed all of 2015 and 2016 with injuries! After years as a mediocre SP he did have an outstanding 2017 as a reliever (2.8 WAR). For all we know, he's the next Andrew Miller in which case this is an excellent deal. He's more likely 10 pitches away from the DL.

Brandon Morrow 2/$21, age 33 -- a mere 136 innings from 2013-16 mostly as a starter, was in AAA to start 2017 where he posted a 7.20 ERA. Brought up to the majors anyway and he got hot for 42 innings. Back in 2015, he got 1/$3.5 as an FA; 2016 and 2017 appear to be NRI/minors. I assume Statcast loves him.

Pat Neshek, 2/$16, age 37 -- here at least is a guy who's been a consistently excellent reliever for some time but look at the age. He's also a bit of a ROOGY, averaging just 54 innings per year, fewer innings than appearances.

Juan Nicasio, 2/$17, age 31 -- Through 2016, he'd been in and out of the rotation, a 90 ERA+ over 550 innings. Looks like he was non-tendered after 2015, the Pirated grabbed his last two arb years for about $6.5. Despite pitching well for them in 2017, I guess they couldn't trade him and put him on waivers in Aug. Phils grabbed him (gave up nothing for him) then flipped him to the Cards ... in September. One very good RP season and he's 2/$17.

Addison Reed, 2/$16.75, age 29 -- Not necessarily anything wrong with this signing, just interesting that the guy with 2 excellent RP seasons and age 29 got a smidgen less than Nicasio for one season and age 31 and a lot less than Morrow with 42 good innings and age 33. Also interesting that he's been traded three times with no return of note.

Joe Smith, 2/$15, age 34 -- Sort of like Neshek, he's been good for a while. But he was an FA last year and got 1/$3, following his 2nd straight below-average season. He wasn't particularly outstanding last year and just 54 innings, now he's 2/$15.

Anthony Swarzak 2/$14, age 32 -- The Twins did their best to break him but couldn't quite do it. Up and down, a few starts, mostly relief, 2012-16 was 320 innings of 96 ERA+. 2017 was an outstanding year, 2/$14. The Twins non-tendered him in 2014. The Indians released him mid-2015 ... nobody grabbed him for the majors. The Yanks grabbed him, stuck him in AAA, called him up for 31 innings of 5.25 ERA, non-tendered him. White Sox grabbed him, had a great year.

2.5-3 WAR position players like Frazier and Moose have trouble getting these contracts, but a pitcher in his 30s with 40-80 good innings to his name can get one. It's hard to imagine there's anything about Joe Smith that turned him from a 1/$3 pitcher to a 2/$15 pitcher. Timing is everything for relievers.
   79. I Am Not a Number Posted: March 09, 2018 at 05:33 PM (#5636259)
Nobody expects the Sandoval Imposition!

Our cheap weapons are fear and surprise. And a side order onion rings. Okay, maybe a few. Stop bringing them when my pants snap open.
   80. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: March 09, 2018 at 05:34 PM (#5636260)
75. dejarouehg Posted: March 09, 2018 at 04:28 PM (#5636230)
Free Agency involves risk. Players usually come out ahead, but not always.



but they are incredibly petulant when they don't.

Well when they have to spend the first 7 years of their career with artificially suppressed wages (due to ownership restricting their right to negotiate), it seems pretty damn reasonable to get upset that when you finally do reach free agency to learn that you’re going to have to take a pay cut because a third of the teams in the league are trying to lose games on purpose. That would rub me the wrong way too.
   81. I Am Not a Number Posted: March 09, 2018 at 05:36 PM (#5636261)
Timing is everything for relievers.

Remember when we used to joke about Ed Wade giving relievers 3-year, $9M contracts? Apparently he was just ahead of his time.
   82. Walt Davis Posted: March 09, 2018 at 05:43 PM (#5636265)
On Moose, lots of teams could have used him. You have to include that he can almost surely play 1B (or a team's current 3B can) and he'd at least be a DH upgrade for lots of teams (or more likely move their lumbering 1B to DH with Moose at 1B ... or 3B with old 3B at 1B). The Indians signed Yonder Alonso for 2/$16 to play 1B for crying out loud. The Red Sox grabbed Moreland at 2/$13. The Mets grabbed Bruce, an OF they don't really have room for, for 3/$39 -- they're 1000% better off with Moose even if it's just at 1/$13 because he doesn't want a long-term commitment.

The best argument against collusion is probably that several teams misread the market too and jumped early on mediocre players.

Other things that have been going on that maybe aren't getting enough attention. Teams used to be comfortable signing players through age 36. This year, nobody's signed past 34 I don't think. For sure, this year featured some younger FAs that were not good enough that you'd want to sign them for that long so it might just be that.

Tanking teams trading, especially position players (which doesn't make a lot of sense). The Yanks landed Stanton, the Giants landed Longoria and McCutchen, the Cards and Brewers landed Ozuna and Yelich, Angels got Kinsler, Twins got Odorizzi (who may not be a great get). Usually it's better to spend money than trade players but most of those were pretty much salary dump trades so not a lot of talent went the other way. Especially if you can grab team-friendly deals like Longoria and Yelich or pre-FA guys like Ozuna without giving up much, those are likely better deals than you can get on the FA market. (Ozuna and Yelich both returned some talent but they are also mega-cheap for their new teams.)
   83. Sleepless in Munich Posted: March 09, 2018 at 06:04 PM (#5636273)
It is true that teams are shifting innings to the bullpen but that has required expanding the bullpen. Individual relievers are not pitching more innings therefore individual relievers are not deserving of more money. So more money on the bullpen sure, higher AAV for relievers no.

Bullpen expansion leads to a lower replacement level for relievers and therefore to an increase in WAR for all relievers. So we should expect relatively higher salaries for individual relievers.

2.5-3 WAR position players like Frazier and Moose have trouble getting these contracts, but a pitcher in his 30s with 40-80 good innings to his name can get one.

We know that Moose had a QO for 1/17.4 from the Royals and there are credible reports of a 3/45 offer from the Angels. That he misplayed his market does not mean that one should generalize from him to all position players - the rather unimpressive Eric Hosmer got $144m, as much as all your "flummoxing" relievers combined.
Don't get me wrong, I totally agree that some of the deals for relievers look bad, but comparing the worst reliever deals with the best position player deals doesn not paint an accurate picture of the situation.
   84. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: March 09, 2018 at 06:07 PM (#5636274)
On Moose, lots of teams could have used him. You have to include that he can almost surely play 1B (or a team's current 3B can) and he'd at least be a DH upgrade for lots of teams (or more likely move their lumbering 1B to DH with Moose at 1B ... or 3B with old 3B at 1B). The Indians signed Yonder Alonso for 2/$16 to play 1B for crying out loud. The Red Sox grabbed Moreland at 2/$13. The Mets grabbed Bruce, an OF they don't really have room for, for 3/$39 -- they're 1000% better off with Moose even if it's just at 1/$13 because he doesn't want a long-term commitment.


Are you really convinced that Moustakas at 1B is any better than Alonso? I'm not. Take away the positional adjustments - and I'm not so sure Alonso and Moustakas aren't the same thing. I suppose having the option of sticking Moose at 3B (or trading him to someone that needs a 3B).

I'll give you Moreland, but the Red Sox also have Hanley...

The fact that Moustakas could move/move someone else to 1B doesn't really add much to his value in my mind. We could go through the permutations, I guess - but I think it comes out to near the same thing.... there weren't a lot of teams that fancied themselves contenders who would be all that interested in a 3B/1B.
   85. Sleepless in Munich Posted: March 09, 2018 at 06:08 PM (#5636275)
Teams used to be comfortable signing players through age 36. This year, nobody's signed past 34 I don't think.

Hosmer was signed through age 35.
   86. Zach Posted: March 09, 2018 at 06:27 PM (#5636279)
There's a surprising amount of resistance in the comment sections of Royals blogs to the idea of *not* tanking this year.

Personally, I think the deal's good enough to merit a change of plans.

1) We've already seen Cuthbert play, and he's not a guy you plan the future around.
2) It's fine to say you should play the young guys, but the guys in the high minors aren't that young. They're the leftovers from the championship core, not the next core.
3) It's easier to get sucked into a cycle of permanent losing than to dip down just long enough to snag the next Junior Griffey.
   87. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: March 09, 2018 at 07:11 PM (#5636288)
Mike Moustakas has never played an inning at first base as a Major League Baseball player.

Mike Moustakas has never played an inning at first base as a minor league baseball player.

I don’t know why would we say he should be expected to play first base well. For the Red Sox the certainly of what Moreland can bring (even if it’s fairly modest) and the fact that he’s a known quantity, presumably well liked within the organization and by the fan base, probably makes 2/13 more useful. Also, he signed very early on in the off-season.

Yonder Alonso is also a fair question but again, he signed in December. I think it is a safe assumption that on December 17 and December 23 when those deals were inked that Moustakas wasn’t taking the deal he wound up taking.

I’m beating this dead horse but I REALLY want to know what kind of deals guys like Moose/Arrieta/et al were asking for and what they were offered. I don’t disagree with Davo that the players are getting hosed by the owners but within the existing framework of Major League Baseball as a business it seems like the deals this winter have generally been fair. Moose got screwed but that often happens in contract negotiations, someone wins, someone loses. The Red Sox are the team I’m familiar with but this is a team that has given away $200 million to Rusney Castillo and Pablo Sandoval and I think every team in baseball can point to bad contracts. In this case it is Moose who lost out. That sucks for him but this does not seem to have been something unpredictable. Boras whiffed here. This off-season was looking like a tough one and he thought he’d be able to get someone to roll over and let him tickle his belly like he usually does but he didn’t.
   88. QLE Posted: March 09, 2018 at 07:26 PM (#5636295)
Giants and no, shouldn't have signed him. His bat wouldn't have played well in Pac Bell Park. And he's not worth the draft penalty.


In addition:

1) The Giants just signed Longoria, and don't really need a third baseman now;

2) Brandon Belt is almost certainly (barring either further deterioration in his bat or Moustakas finally learning how to draw walks) more valuable on first base than Moustakas would be;

3) He'd also have less value than Buster Posey, who will also be taking up a considerable number of games at first base;

4) The Giants won't need to use a designated hitter that often- and there are already quite a few players (including Posey again) in line for use in that position;

5) On the one hand, the Giants have holes everywhere- on the other hand, I don't feel comfortable trying to move Moustakas up the defensive spectrum, and I'm not sure he'll make up value if moved down the spectrum.

The money isn't a problem- finding the room, on the other hand....
   89. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: March 09, 2018 at 08:27 PM (#5636309)
Other things that have been going on that maybe aren't getting enough attention. Teams used to be comfortable signing players through age 36. This year, nobody's signed past 34 I don't think.

Hosmer is signed through his age 35 season at least.
   90. cardsfanboy Posted: March 09, 2018 at 11:38 PM (#5636361)
Early in the thread people pointed out to third baseman among contenders, but going beyond that even, he's a 2-3 war player at best if healthy, how many teams out there have a clear opening at third base that would warrant even a qualifying offer amount for one season?

30 teams for the fun of it, looking at mlb depth chart at third base..... and not knowing the minors for any of these teams.(except St Louis, who Moustakas would have been a clear wasted signing)
AL East
Baltimore has Machado of course, but he wants to be a shortstop..... Beckham is listed as their starting third baseman, he put up a 111 ops+ last year and 3.3 war, clearly a better player and a year younger.
Boston...some dude name R. Devers.... looking him up, he's a 20 year old who put up a 112 ops+ last season in 320 pa, and was a top 20 prospect by pretty much every publication out there....yea... he wasn't going to lose his job to moose.
Yankees.... Brandon Drury... sure just a 24 year old prospect that they just traded for....Moose might have been a slight upgrade over this guy, but at a cost of around a mil vs the 9 or so mil that Moose is wanting, it seems pretty obvious you go for the guy who at 24 put up 1.6 war vs the guy who put up 1.8 war... not that Moose wouldn't have been a slight improvement since his hitting is better, but still they have so many other offensive weapons it doesn't really seem necessary to add a power bat that does only one thing...hit homeruns.
Blue Jays..... really> Next.
Rays full rebuild mode.... so that is a viable option....


AL Central
Indians have Jose Ramirez... a 6.9 war third baseman.
Twins have a 24 year old Miguel Sano who was a 2.5 war player in 114 games.....
White Sox could use a third baseman.
Tigers have a former Cubs Prospect that was top 100 rated by mlb last year and wasn't overwhelmed at the major league level with Jeimer Candelario.... no clue if he's a mlb starter or not, so this is another team that Moose was a possibility.


AL West
Astros... Bregman, 23 year old with 204 games played and 5.8 war..... Moose wasn't going to take his spot.
Angels...Cozart now.... guy has 5 seasons better than the second best season of Mooses career.... and his most recent season beats Moose's best from a couple of years ago..... not really a bad choice here.
Mariners...Kyle Seager....massively better than Moose in no uncertain terms.
Rangers...some nobody named Beltre....
A's... Matt Chapman, quite possibly their only superstar. 24 year old 3.6 war player, sure he'll be traded in two years, but right now a significantly cheaper(the only thing the a's care about) and better player than Moose.


So to summarize the AL... Moose would probably at best improve a couple of teams...White Sox, and Rays are obvious, Royals of course, and maybe an argument could be made for Tigers or Yankees but on both of those I think the odds say go with the youth you have....


And I'm thinking that the NL is going to look pretty similar, so let's check

NL East.
Nationals....Rendon, a 27 year old 5.9 war player last year.... next.
Marlins...we know their financial choices this season, so it's not even necessary to look, but Prado is their projected starting third baseman, a risky investment after an injury season last year, but a guy who was a 3.5, 2.0 and a 1.4 war player in the three preceeding seasons....if I had to bet, I'd argue that Prado has a better chance of being a 3 war player than Moose does. Either way, it doesn't matter, Marlins was not an option for him.
Braves Johan Camargo.... a 23 year old who put up a 1.1 war last year in the majors, but an unheralded rookie for the most part.... I could see signing Moose instead of risking going with him (and remember I'm only looking at bb-ref and depth charts... I don't know crap about this guy other than that) If I'm a team, I don't sign moose over this guy, but if I'm a team I can't imagine anything that would make me sign moose for anything more than 6 mil a year, he's just not that good.
Mets.... Frazier... a much better player. Great signing.
Phillies... Franco had a horrible year last year and they might have to make a decision to jettison him, so I can see a legitimate option here. (and I'm a moderately big Franco fan, but you have to produce and he didn't last year and in fact regressed...you can't be a poor fielder and a poor bat, you can only live off that first two months of 130 ops+ from two years ago before you lose your job.)


NL Central
Cubs Bryant...next.
Brewers Travis Shaw a 4 war third baseman last year costing 544k last season.... no chance for Moose
Cardinals....have literally 3 people who can play third base and produce a 2-3 war(Carpenter, Gyorko, and Garcia---not counting prospects) He would just be another slightly above average player added to a roster full of slightly above average players.
Pirates..have Colin Moran a highly touted prospect at third and David Freese as a backup who had a better year(by war) last year than Moose. Moose wouldn't be the projected starter on this team and would be vying for backup and platoon options, not really a good fit for him.
Reds Eugenio Suarez a 24 year old who just had a 3.7 war season.... I'll go with him.

NL West
Dodgers.... Justin Turner, a 3b who has averaged 4.7 war over the past four seasons....
Diamondbacks.... Jake Lamb might be overrated but he did make the all star team last season.... I don't really think anyone in Arizona is thinking that Lamb needs to be replaced by a Moose.
Rockies....do I even need to go there? Arenado has finished in the top ten mvp voting the last three seasons, won 5 gold gloves in his career, has 27.4 war and has averaged 6.5 war per season over the last three...this is one of the ten best position players in the game right now....
Padres Headley....better than Moose.
Giants ---Longoria... again...really???


Moose is just not that good and it's clear that we are in a golden age of third baseman right now....basically he had about 7 teams that needed him and almost everyone of them had a reason not to make the splash.




   91. Howie Menckel Posted: March 09, 2018 at 11:53 PM (#5636363)
Reds Eugenio Suarez a 24 year old who just had a 3.7 war season..

nitpick for sure, but Suarez turns 27 in July. still, agreed.
   92. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: March 10, 2018 at 12:49 AM (#5636370)
The Yankees are the team that surprised me. I wonder if they ever offered him 2/20 or something like that. I’m not sure how tight they are to the tax limit so maybe that would even be a bridge too far but the AL East is going to be tight this year and I’d think if they lose out by a game or two that would be irritating, particularly if they don’t sign Machado next winter (which they will).
   93. Itsdrainageeli Posted: March 10, 2018 at 12:25 PM (#5636432)
I think the Yankees did pretty good with Drury. Obviously after they got Drury, I'm pretty sure they weren't interested in Moustakas.

But I guess before that, the question is whether you'd rather (a) pay Drury 500k (with 4 more years of control and 1 year until arb) and give up 2 okay but not great prospects or (b) pay Moustakas for 6.5m+ for a single year.

I think I'd probably still go with Drury as a better fit because the Yankees are uncertain at two positions that Drury can play (2b and 3b) and Drury gives them the flexibility to mix-and-match depending on which of their youngsters is ready. Another added bonus is that it also gives the Yankees some more room under the luxury tax to do some midseason additions as well.
   94. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 10, 2018 at 12:52 PM (#5636448)
The Yankees are the team that surprised me. I wonder if they ever offered him 2/20 or something like that. I’m not sure how tight they are to the tax limit so maybe that would even be a bridge too far but the AL East is going to be tight this year and I’d think if they lose out by a game or two that would be irritating, particularly if they don’t sign Machado next winter (which they will).

The Yankees want to give Andujar a shot to claim the job this year, and give themselves an opening for Machado (even if Machado insists on plying SS, Gregorius or Torres can play 3B, with the other one at 2B).

If Andujar can prove he is a major league regular, that gives them either the 3B of the future, with Torres at 2B, or a great trade chip if they sign Machado or Donaldson.

They love Todd Frazier, and wouldn't give him more than 1 year, if they even offered that.
   95. Buck Coats Posted: March 10, 2018 at 02:52 PM (#5636466)
I’m beating this dead horse but I REALLY want to know what kind of deals guys like Moose/Arrieta/et al were asking for and what they were offered.


Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Mike Moustakas did not receive any other offers throughout the offseason until the Royals welcomed him back.
   96. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 10, 2018 at 03:30 PM (#5636468)
That 0.7 WAR is in only 27 games though, and that same pace over 135 games puts him between 3-4 WAR.


So not being able to stay on the field is supposed to be a point in his favor? Moustakis is even more of a mediocrity than his former teammate Hosmer. He's had exactly one all-star caliber season (although he has made two all-star teams. He has a career OBP of .305. Teams should be tripping over each other with 3 and 4 year offers because he started hitting a few homers?
   97. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 10, 2018 at 04:04 PM (#5636473)
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Mike Moustakas did not receive any other offers throughout the offseason until the Royals welcomed him back.

If that's true, that's awfully sloppy collusion. If the owners are colluding, you'd think they'd make sure all the top FAs at least got plausible offers.
   98. Swoboda is freedom Posted: March 10, 2018 at 04:04 PM (#5636474)

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Mike Moustakas did not receive any other offers throughout the offseason until the Royals welcomed him back.


I heard that the Mets offered him the same deal that they offered Frazier, and when he turned it down, they signed Frazier.
   99. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: March 10, 2018 at 04:18 PM (#5636478)
I am guessing that means a formal offer, or something like that. If teams enquired and they were sticking to something like 5/100 I am sure most won't bother making a formal offer for 3/40, or whatever they were thinking.
   100. QLE Posted: March 10, 2018 at 04:49 PM (#5636484)
Teams used to be comfortable signing players through age 36. This year, nobody's signed past 34 I don't think.


Lorenzo Cain was signed to 2022, when he will be 36.
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