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.
The #Royals have had their eye on Brett Phillips for a while now. They love his speed, cannon arm, energy and ability to play center field. There are questions about how good a hitter he'll be. But as one Royals person said, "He's someone we can turn into a really good player.''— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 28, 2018
Brett Phillips is certainly a polarizing player (and, as my mentions attest, Milwaukee fans are down on him). But the talent remains, and he’s an excellent upside play for a rental. Jorge Lopez is a major league arm. Two big leaguers for two months of Moose is a great return.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 28, 2018
Phillips is a big league ready 4th OF who can potentially be more. But surplus for Brewers who are very deep in OFs. https://t.co/PtwuwgwCx1— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) July 28, 2018
No one's giving up a Top-100 Prospect for 2 months of Mike Moustakas. So the Royals got the next-best thing: a guy who *was* a Top-100 Prospect four months ago in Brett Phillips - and, in Jorge Lopez, a guy who was a Top-100 Prospect in 2016.— Rany Jazayerli (@jazayerli) July 28, 2018
This was a very good trade.
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.
The Royals, by the way, moved about $2.922 million in salary with the Moustakas trade ($1.922 million in base salary plus $1m buyout). The Brewers will pick up the rest of his performance bonuses based on plate appearances.— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) July 28, 2018
Royals just stockpiling Jorge’s.— #30 (@WTFRoyals) July 28, 2018
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.
See? This is exactly what I'm talking about with the Royals. There's no master plan; they're not playing chess, they're playing Battleship. https://t.co/vluqg2lfd6— Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) July 28, 2018
The Royals’ plan seems pretty clear now.
Royals just stockpiling Jorge’s.— #30 (@WTFRoyals) July 28, 2018
Some fans weren’t thrilled by the trade.
Greg finally accepted we won’t be in the World Series this year. pic.twitter.com/g80o12X8JA— Sarah #Crowned (@sarahinkc) July 28, 2018
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.
Really feeling the love @Brewers fans, I will forever be grateful for my time in MKE and the support y’all have shown. Wishing continued success to all of my guys down the stretch. @Royals I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity and will take advantage of every moment!— Maverick Phillips (@Brett_Phillips8) July 28, 2018
Danny Duffy says goodbye.
Its been a ride man! From draft day 2007 & grad night at disneyland and my awkward ass tryin to find you and introduce myself cuz i saw the chatsworth bus..i love you bro. Thanks 4 all the memories. You gave your heart and soul to this team and you deserve the best. @Mooose_8— Danny Duffy (@Duffman) July 28, 2018
The fans said goodbye to Moose.
When I replay every Moose moment from 2014 and 2015 in my mind, it brings me to tears. He was a huge part of injecting this city with new life and they are moments I will never, ever forget.— Rhett Parrish ⚾ (@TheCheat54) July 28, 2018
Moose wasn’t the best player on the 2014-15 Royals, but he was the most relatable. He didn’t have matinee-idol looks or a chiseled physique or super-athletic tools. He’s 5’11” with a dad bod.— Rany Jazayerli (@jazayerli) July 28, 2018
But he wanted to win more than he wanted anything else. That’s how I’ll remember him. https://t.co/3oT094JCdv