Cincinnati Reds Sign Mike Moustakas
The Cincinnati Reds have made their first splash of the offseason as they signed infielder Mike Moustakas to a four-year, $64 million contract. This move comes on the heels of Cincinnati non-tendering Jose Peraza. This is also the largest free-agent signing in franchise history.
Moustakas is coming off a productive 2019 season with the Milwaukee Brewers as he hit .254/.329/.516 with 35 homers and 87 RBI in 143 games and earned an All-Star nod. Moustakas is a natural third baseman, but he played a chunk at second base, which is where he will likely get most of his starts. Eugenio Suarez has entrenched himself at third, making it hard for Moustakas to play there. However, he should be able to play third base on occasion for Cincinnati. This move adds some positional flexibility and more balance in the lineup.
Moustakas had struggled in his first four seasons for the Kansas City Royals, but 2015 was his coming out party. In 2015, he was an All-Star and MVP candidate. In that season, he hit .284/.348/.470 with 22 home runs and 82 RBI. After that season, he became a legitimate threat in the lineup as he has slugged 150 home runs, including a career-high of 38 in 2017.
Where Moustakas Will Play
Coming into the offseason, the question of where Nick Senzel should play had to be addressed. The question was whether he would play in center field or move to second base. With this signing, the Reds front office clearly thinks that Senzel is competent in center field.
Second base was an issue for the Reds the entire 2019 season after Scooter Gennett was injured to begin the season. The team used Jose Iglesias, Freddy Galvis, Peraza, Derek Dietrich, and Kyle Farmer at the position, and the production was minimal. That prompted the front office to address this issue. The addition of Moustakas is a significant upgrade for the Reds.
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