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Reactions to the Mike Moustakas trade

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Goodbye, Moose.

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MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Kansas City Royals Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals have traded away a popular long-time player in Mike Moustakas to the Brewers in exchange for two young Major League-ready players in Brett Phillips and Jorge Lopez. Royals fans had been bracing themsleves for a trade for months, so let’s see what others around baseball had to say about the big deal.

Ned Yost got a scouting report on Brett Phillips from his son, who coached Phillips in the minors.

“It was more last year than this year,” Yost said, reciting his son’s report. “It’s been kind of a struggle for him this year. But (he has) phenomenal, off-the-chart makeup. He loves to play the game, plays the game with energy, and just hustles his ass off.”

Clint Scoles at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City gives this deal a thumbs up.

This is a no-brainer for a two month rental of Mike Moustakas. The Royals get one possible above-average everyday player and a reliever with some upside. In Phillips, the Royals are getting a possible 2-3 win player at a position of need (centerfield) that won’t be arbitration eligible until 2021 and won’t be a free agent until 2024. On the low-end, Phillips likely profiles as a fourth outfielder who can platoon on the good side and play some center and right with good range.

Wayne Cavadi at Minor League Ball chimes in.

The Royals gave up Moustakas, someone they went back-and-forth with signing this preseason as they searched for the right deal and didn’t seem overenthusiastic in keeping much longer than his 2019 option. In return, they receive two of the Brewers top-20 prospects and one of the top 200 in the game. On paper, that seems like a win. However, both prospects are very much question marks. If either reach their full potential, the Royals win this trade. But with both showing many inconsistencies, it may be awhile before we find that out.

Jon Tayler at Sports Illustrated grades the deal as a “B+” for the Royals.

Lopez, meanwhile, was once of the Brewers’ top pitching prospects, only to be derailed by a nightmare 2016 season in Triple A: a 7.49 ERA and 55 walks in 79 1/3 innings. That prompted a switch from the rotation to the bullpen, though the 25-year-old Puerto Rican righty still has issues with command. On the plus side, his fastball touches 97, and his curveball is above average. If the Royals can figure out his control problems, they could have themselves an impact relief option. And if nothing else, both Phillips and Lopez are MLB-ready now.

Rahul Setty at Fangraphs thinks it is good value, although Phillips has some flaws to his game.

The longtime Royal returned a nice piece in Brett Phillips, a prospect who is almost certainly worth more than Moustakas’ rest-of-season surplus value. He’s a largely fringey outfielder whose inability to make contact (with a strikeout rate north of 30% since 2015) has limited him to a lesser role. Phillips has made it work in the high minors with wRC+ marks of 134, 120, 113, 139, and 92, but such a strikeout-heavy approach combined with a lack of game-power threatens his viability at the major-league level.

Patrick Brennan at Royals Farm Report breaks down Jorge Lopez.

There is no question with the raw ability of Lopez. The results throughout his career have been extremely inconsistent and the walk numbers have held him back big time. Take that as you will, but it seems like he’s one of the pitchers that could be one adjustment away from turning into a legit late inning option. If not, the control will keep him as a fringe-big leaguer that will likely never make it.

The Brewers are picking up the tab on Moose the rest of the year.

Maria Torres writes that the Royals were looking for MLB-ready players.

Disenchanted by their 112-loss pace, the Royals were unwilling to settle for prospects who had not yet cracked a major-league roster. They wanted players who could help expedite their rebuild. They believe they accomplished that with the haul they received for Moustakas, a man who exemplified the Royals’ fighting spirit and the gritty, athletic brand of baseball Moore brought to Kansas City in the summer of 2006....

“We didn’t want to do a prospect-type deal in this case, because of the nature of where we are at the major-league level and what we’re trying to accomplish,” Moore said on a conference call with reporters. “We don’t like losing games and we don’t like where we are right now with the major-league team, so we wanted to try to seek talent that was going to help us sooner than later.”

Which drew criticism from Fangraphs writer Dan Szymborski.

The Royals’ plan seems pretty clear now.

Some fans weren’t thrilled by the trade.

Ned Yost reflected on the maturation of Mike Moustakas.

“I had this kid when he was a kid,” Yost said. “Before he got married, before he became a dad, before he became an All-Star, before he became a world champion. I’ve watched him grow up before my very eyes.”

Sam Mellinger reflects on Mike Moustakas’ time in Kansas City.

As much as anything else, the Royals’ rise was defined by resiliency. And more than anyone else, Moustakas defines that resiliency. He’d never known failure when the Royals drafted him, and he’ll be remembered for handling it better than anyone could’ve expected.

Nobody was given more pressure in the beginning, nobody saw darker corners in the middle, and nobody felt more pride in the end.

Vahe Gregorian writes that the Royals are now stranded between two eras.

Royals fans are now rooting for the Brewers.

Brett Phillips says hello.

Danny Duffy says goodbye.

The fans said goodbye to Moose.