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OC Register: Angels Offseason Options: Mike Moustakas


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(This is the latest in a series of quick profiles on players who fit for the Angels to add over the winter. They are purely “informed speculation,” based on what we know about the Angels’ roster needs along with General Manager Billy Eppler’s preferences and history. We’ll have a new one every weekday, until the GM Meetings, which are the unofficial start of the hot stove season.)

MIKE MOUSTAKAS, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers

The basics: A product of Chatsworth High, Moustakas came up as a power-hitting third baseman with the Kansas City Royals, with four seasons of 20 homers. He was widely connected to the Angels as a free agent last winter, but he ended up re-signing with Kansas City and getting traded to the Brewers midseason. He will play most of next season at age 30.

2018 season: Moustakas hit .251 with a .315 on-base percentage and 28 homers.

Contract status: Moustakas has a mutual option worth $15 million, which means he’s probably going to be a free agent. Last season he made $5.5 million.

Why he makes sense: The Angels are not likely to have the room in their payroll or roster for a premium infielder who can only play one position, but Moustakas played a few games at first base last season. If he’s willing and able to play over there more regularly, or even primarily, he could be a good fit for the Angels. The Angels could use one more big bat, preferably who hits left-handed, and if he can play first base and another position, that allows him to fill in when Albert Pujols is not at first, but also be somewhere on the field when Pujols is. The transition to first base should be doable, as long as Moustakas is willing. If Moustakas could play first and third, he’d basically do what the Angels hoped Luis Valbuena would do. A Southern California native, he might have some incentive to do what it takes to fit with the Angels. Another left-handed power bat in the lineup would help balance the roster.

Why he doesn’t: He is going to cost some money that the Angels would probably prefer to save for their pitching, since they believe they have enough young players with the offensive upside to give them what they need. Also, his career on-base percentage is only average. Defensively, he’d be a work in progress at first.

Previous players: C J.T. RealmutoRHP Nate EovaldiRHP Sonny Gray, LHP Patrick Corbin, LHP CC Sabathia, UT Daniel Descalso, RHP Julio Teheran, LHP Gio Gonzalez, UT Marwin Gonzalez, LHP J.A. Happ, LHP Will Smith.

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I'd absolutely be interested in Moustakas.  If Moose is at 3B, Cozart is at 2B, Pujols at 1B and Ohtani at DH.  If Moose is at 1B, Fletcher is at 2B and Cozart moves to 3B and Pujols to bench. 

Basically, it makes Fletcher into a part time starter, part time utility infielder which is a perfect role for him.  It takes the load off Pujols, so even if the Angels were relying on him, it'd be fine.  It adds the necessary LHB to the lineup and puts another hitter between Pujols and the middle of the order.  Basically makes Moose the #5 hitter. 

I'm fully in favor of this. 

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16 minutes ago, True Grich said:

If Eppler is serious about increasing the team's OBP, then he won't be talking to Moustakes.

Taylor Ward's OBP was .245 and Pujols was .289.

Moustakas isn't ideal but any at bat he takes from one of those two increases the team OBP.

A 2.4 WAR player that plays first and third at a very cheap salary is almost a dream come true given the other in house options.

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1 minute ago, Dtwncbad said:

Taylor Ward's OBP was .245 and Pujols was .289.

Moustakas isn't ideal but any at bat he takes from one of those two increases the team OBP.

That's a low bar... I hope he's aiming higher than that.  I mean even CJ Cron had a higher OBP than those two.

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12 minutes ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

If CJ Cron could have played 3B, he'd still be here.

Yes, I'm aware of that.  My point is that if Eppler is really serious about increasing the team's OBP, he's not looking at Moustakas.  While Moustakas' OBP is higher than both Ward and Pujols, it's still not great and historically - it never has been (for the most part).

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3 minutes ago, Second Base said:

The chance of less Pujols and Cozart in the lineup and more left handedness with 30-40 HR's is worth the sacrifice in OBP.  At least to me it is. 

Sure... If Moustakas actually took AB's away from those two.  Again, I don't see it.  I don't know squat about what they will actually do - but I don't see this.  Why didn't he pursue him last off season?

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7 minutes ago, True Grich said:

Yes, I'm aware of that.  My point is that if Eppler is really serious about increasing the team's OBP, he's not looking at Moustakes.  While Moustakes' OBP is higher than both Ward and Pujols, it's still not great and historically - it never has been (for the most part).

I agree his OBP is a negative. 

The only way I think this happens is if Moustakas would be down with playing 1B, and if he'll take a pretty inexpensive deal (5-6M?).

This is one of the least likely of this series -- since I don't think they want to spend much of anything on offense -- but people like to talk about him, so I included him to illustrate the pluses and minuses.

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5 minutes ago, True Grich said:

Sure... If Moustakas actually took AB's away from those two.  Again, I don't see it.  I don't know squat about what they will actually do - but I don't see this.  Why didn't he pursue him last off season?

I think the Angels did engage Moustakas early in the winter, but at that time Moustakas was looking for a price that the Angels weren't willing to meet, so they moved on. If the Angels could have signed him for $5.5 million in December, they would have.

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I actually like Moustakas.  I was at the Angel game when he hit his first major league homer.  I talked to him after the game and told him that Billy Butler also hit his first ML homer at Angels stadium.  He got a kick out of that.  Not that this has anything to do with this thread...

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1 minute ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

I think the Angels did engage Moustakas early in the winter, but at that time Moustakas was looking for a price that the Angels weren't willing to meet, so they moved on. If the Angels could have signed him for $5.5 million in December, they would have.

Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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25 minutes ago, True Grich said:

That's a low bar... I hope he's aiming higher than that.  I mean even CJ Cron had a higher OBP than those two.

I also hope they aim higher.  And every time I mention something that is aiming higher I get hit with an avalanche of opinions saying the suggestion isn't realistic because the Angels will only be tweeking here and there. . .

 

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2 minutes ago, Dtwncbad said:

I also hope they aim higher.  And every time I mention something that is aiming higher I get hit with an avalanche of opinions saying the suggestion isn't realistic because the Angels will only be tweeking here and there. . .

 

That's true... and funny.

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1 hour ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

If CJ Cron could have played 3B, he'd still be here.

i wonder why more firstbasemen are not able to play third. it's a corner infield position that is roughly equivalent on that side of the diamon, though you need a stronger arm and will lilkely see more ground balls hit your way.

this is a very weak comparison, but i started off as a baseball player at third and transitioned to first - it was a very easy transition to make, and i wasn't near the elite athlete like most of these guys are. i wonder why the reverse doesn't happen more often. they tried it with trumbo, who wasn't awful at third, but i felt like they gave up too quickly on him. and some here may remember that pujols played some third base for the cardinals early on in his career.

just a thought.

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3 hours ago, Second Base said:

The chance of less Pujols and Cozart in the lineup and more left handedness with 30-40 HR's is worth the sacrifice in OBP.  At least to me it is. 

This is why I don't want Moustakas. He isn't a 30-40 HR a year hitter like people want him to be. He's hit 30 HR in a season once in his whole career. He's hit fewer than 20 HRs twice (in full seasons). People have to severely inflate his numbers to make the signing sound good.

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I think the need for a player who can legitimately play 3rd base is a bit over stated.

They have five guys on the 40-man now who have played third. Now two of those guys probably don't figure in to 2019, in Cowart and Marte, but Ward, Cozart and Fletcher do. Then at AAA they have Zach Houchins as well as Jose Rojas.

At AA they have Baldoquin.

So... while I could see them signing a star, or even Josh Donaldson, I can't see them focusing here with Cozart, Fletcher and Ward all available.

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13 minutes ago, Hubs said:

I think the need for a player who can legitimately play 3rd base is a bit over stated.

 

5 hours ago, AngelsWin.com said:

The Angels are not likely to have the room in their payroll or roster for a premium infielder who can only play one position, but Moustakas played a few games at first base last season. If he’s willing and able to play over there more regularly, or even primarily, he could be a good fit for the Angels.

 

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4 hours ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

I agree his OBP is a negative. 

The only way I think this happens is if Moustakas would be down with playing 1B, and if he'll take a pretty inexpensive deal (5-6M?).

This is one of the least likely of this series -- since I don't think they want to spend much of anything on offense -- but people like to talk about him, so I included him to illustrate the pluses and minuses.

Did u just say they don’t want to spend much of anything on offense? In an offensively league this front office doesn’t want to spend anything on offense? Ok then. 

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