The Royals made the signing of outfielder Brandon Moss to a two-year, $12 million deal official on Wednesday. The deal will pay Moss $3.75 million in 2017, $7.25 million in 2018 with a $10 million mutual option in 2019 with a $1 million buyout, according to reporter Jeffrey Flanagan. He also has a number of incentives based on plate appearances.
Not well worded, but $50K for when he passes 275 PAs, passes 300 PAs, and so on up to 500.— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) February 1, 2017
Dayton Moore introduced the new slugger to the media in a press conference where he was asked where Moss would fit into the roster. Many had assumed that Moss would be the regular designated hitter, but Moore was quick to correct those assumptions.
"We didn’t sign Brandon to be our DH. We plan on rotating that slot. We have an aging lineup. Its going to be very beneficial to give a lot of our positional players to DH from time to time."
By the metrics, Brandon Moss is a capable corner outfielder who can also play first base a bit. The Royals could have Moss spend some time at DH against righties, perhaps spelling Jorge Soler in right field on occasion. Moss’s numbers are much worse against lefties, which could give right-handed hitters Paulo Orlando or Cheslor Cuthbert some time at DH, as well as Salvador Perez on days he can rest from catching.
Moss said he is comfortable out in the field, but doesn’t mind serving as a designated hitter. "Its a little bit different animal," said Moss, adding that he liked helping the team offensively.
Dayton Moore stressed offense as the big reason the Royals pursued Moss. He cited his analytics department showing that Moss’s power would translate well to Kauffman Stadium, giving the team a much-needed boost in that area.
"We’re going to need to score more runs. We’re going to have to hit the ball out of the ballpark."
Moss fielded a few questions from reports about the 2014 Wild Card Game, in which he smashed two home runs for the Athletics against the Royals.
Brandon Moss on playing in the 2014 Wild Card game: "It was the most fun and the most heartbreaking time I ever had playing baseball."— 610 Sports Radio- KC (@610SportsKC) February 1, 2017
Moss said it was the most fun he has had in a baseball game, and that the 2014 Athletics were the best team he has ever been a part of. But he also said he was eager to join a team like the Royals that had come up together and become a team together.
"All I’ve wanted to be is someone to come up and compliment a team...This is a true team."
Moss lamented a late slump in September with the Cardinals in which he hit just 10 for his last 106 (.094). He cited an ankle injury suffered in August as a factor, but also blamed bad luck and just terrible swings.
"I don’t even want to re-live it. It was bad."
The Royals will be counting on Moss to hit in the middle of the lineup and provide power to a roster that finished dead last in home runs last season. He can also help the team become more patient, as he had an above-average walk rate last year of 8.4%, higher than the league-average of 8.2%, and he has consistently had a higher-than-league average walk rate in his career, although those numbers have declined in the last few seasons. Moss says he would like to get back to being a more patient hitter.
"My goal is to be selective like I was a few years ago. I feel like I’ve become overaggressive....My goal is to be more disciplined at the plate."
Dayton Moore said that the team is not done this off-season, anticipating one more move before spring training for a pitcher, possibly through a trade.
Dayton Moore said he anticipates one more move before Spring Training. Likely starter or reliever. Mentioned trade as possibility #Royals— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) February 1, 2017
The Royals have been connected to free agent starting pitcher Jason Hammel. The Moss signing could lead to a roster crunch that could make it more difficult for players like Cheslor Cuthbert, who is out of options, to make the club. The Royals could also use top hitting prospect Hunter Dozier as trade bait.