Mike Moustakas, otherwise known as “Moose”, has been designated for assignment by the Cincinnati Reds. The long time Kansas City Royal and former Milwaukee Brewer signed a four year, $64MM deal with the Reds prior to the start of the 2020 season. Moose, a three time All-Star, now has one week to be claimed on waivers or be traded before becoming a free agent.
The Cincinnati Reds have designated Mike Moustakas for assignment.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) December 22, 2022
With one year left on his contract, it is likely that Moustakas will become a free agent. He is still owed $22MM in the form of a $18MM 2023 salary and $4MM buyout on a club option for the 2024 season. If he becomes a free agent, any other team can acquire him for the league minimum. This is a similar situation to what has happened with Eric Hosmer.
The Brewers and Moustakas have a good history together. Should Matt Arnold consider a reunion with him now that he has been DFA’d by the Reds?
Moustakas initially joined the Brewers in 2018 and was a part of their deep playoff run that year. He had a walk off hit against the Rockies during the NLDS. At seasons end he became a free agent, but ended up re-signing with the Brewers on a one year deal.
With the Brewers in 2019, he was an All-Star. Overall he hit 35 home runs, drove in 87 batters, and had a 114 OPS+. His performance in 2019 led to his big contract with the Reds. Unfortunately, he has under performed and struggled to stay healthy since signing that deal.
With the Reds, he has not hit double digit home runs, his batting average has dropped, and the highest OPS+ he has had is 87. Injuries have played a big factor in this. Over the last three years he has played in just 187 games. Below is a log of every stint on the injured list he has had over that time frame.
The Moose injury log in Cincinnati, courtesy of Spotrac.
(This followed three seasons without an IL stint from ’17-’19.)
He’s 34 now, no guarantee of a rebound, but taking a look this spring seems worthwhile. pic.twitter.com/ZEXdNHGdOa
— Derek VanRiper (@DerekVanRiper) December 22, 2022
Moustakas is 34 years old and will be a great low risk option once he becomes a free agent. The Brewers could be looking to upgrade at third base, which is where Moustakas primarily plays. Perhaps Matt Arnold will call the park ranger in order to set the moose loose in Milwaukee once again.