Per multiple reports, the Reds have reached agreement on a 4-year/$64M deal with Milwaukee Brewers 2B/3B Mike Moustakas. Details HERE.
The Reds jumped into the free agent market with their biggest free agent deal in franchise history. Moustakas will earn an average of $16M per year (Scott Boras client).
He adds a big power bat from the left side. He's hit 38, 28 and 35 homers over the last three seasons. His 66 extra-base hits in 2019 should play well at GABP. But he's not a big on-base guy. The Reds middle infield now includes Moustakas with a career OBP of .310 and Freddy Galvis at .296. Moustakas does make good contact. His strikeout rate of 16.8-percent would rank second best on the current Reds roster (Winker 15.6) and is better than the ML average (20.8).
He is a veteran with 42 games of postseason experience and a World Series ring. He's always been highly thought of in the clubhouse and viewed as a leader. From a 2018 Associated Press story: "In the clubhouse, his focused demeanor and extensive postseason experience have made him a source of steadiness."
He's not a 2B by trade, so this does not upgrade the infield defense. Yet, good scouting and shifting can help and the reality is fewer balls are put in play today than any other point in history.
He is 31 years old, so the Reds will pay him through his age 34 season. The 30-something production of players is always a legit concern.
Ultimately, I would have preferred a younger guy that gets on base more, playing his natural position and on a three-year deal with an option.
But you can't always get what you want.
There is no doubt Moustakas upgrades the roster. The Reds lineup today is better than it was yesterday. And I like adding the lefty pop.
Reds 2B ML rank 2019: 27th BA, 27th OBP, 19th SLG, 24th OPS
2019 Moustakas: .254-.329-.516-.845, 30 doubles, 35 HR, 87 RBI
2019 Reds 2B: .221-.288-.390-.678, 24 doubles, 23 HR, 74 RBI
I also like the double-hit bonus of taking a quality player from the Brewers, who have also lost Yasmani Grandal this offseason.
The Reds still have money and still have moves they must make. Today's move means Nick Senzel stays in CF and likely takes DiDi Gregorius out of play for shortstop, unless they would make Galvis a super-utility guy. I'd think left field, bullpen and a 5th starter are still in the conversation.
Reds current projected lineup:
C Barnhart/Casali, 1B Votto, 2B Moustakas, SS Galvis, 3B Suarez, LF Winker/Ervin, CF Senzel, RF Aquino
What is your reaction to the deal? Join us in the discussion HERE