Former Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas has signed a four-year, $64 million deal with the Cincinnati Reds, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Moose is coming off a his third All-Star season, in which he hit .254/.329/.516 with 35 home runs in 143 games with the Milwaukee Brewers. Ken Rosenthal reports that Moustakas will play second base for the Reds, with Eugenio Suarez already slated to play third base. Moustakas played 47 games at second base last year, the first time in his career he has played the position.
Free agency has not gone as expected for former Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas. After first reaching free agency after the 2017 season, Moose found little attention in his services, despite coming off a career high and franchise record-setting performance with 38 home runs. He settled on returning to the Royals on a one-year, $8.7 million deal before they shipped him to Milwaukee in a mid-season trade. The free agent waters weren’t much kinder the next season, and Moustakas settled for a one-year, $10 million to return to the Brewers.
Still just 31, Moustakas has established himself as an above-average power hitter capable of playing both third and second base with average defense. Over the past three seasons, he has hit 101 home runs, the 14th-most in baseball.
Based on current roster, this is what the 2020 Reds' lineup could look like:— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 2, 2019
CF Nick Senzel
1B Joey Votto
3B Eugenio Suarez
2B Mike Moustakas
RF Aristides Aquino
LF Jesse Winker
SS Freddy Galvis
To make room for Moustakas, the Reds non-tendered Jose Peraza. The 25-year old infielder was the primary second baseman for the Reds last year, but hit just .239/.285/.346 with six home runs in 141 games. In five seasons, he hit .273/.312/.374 for Cincinnati. The addition of Moustakas coupled with Suarez at third also puts into doubt the future for 2018 first round pick Jonathan India. The former Florida Gator who was teammates with Royals prospects Jackson Kowar and Brady Singer hit .259/.365/.402 with 11 home runs in 121 games last year, reaching as high as Double-A and was ranked as the #51 prospect in baseball by Baseball America before the season.