Sources: Third baseman Mike Moustakas returning to Brewers

Tim BrownMLB columnist
Yahoo Sports

After finishing out last season in Milwaukee, third baseman Mike Moustakas has agreed to terms with the Brewers on a one-year deal in the ballpark of $10 million, sources tell Yahoo Sports.

Moustakas became a free-agent casualty when teams stopped shelling out massive contracts last offseason. Unable to find a suitable long-term deal, the veteran returned to the Kansas City Royals for one-year and $6.5 million, hoping he would play well enough to receive the type of offers in 2018 that eluded him a season earlier.

Moustakas’ numbers were slightly down in 2018. He slashed .251/.315/.459 with 49 walks, 103 strikeouts and 28 home runs. But his gamble on a one-year deal with the Royals last season was more a reflection of the market than his tools.

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There weren’t too many teams in need of a starting third baseman last offseason and the ones that did weren’t going to pay top dollar — Zack Cozart scored the largest contract when the Los Angeles Angels signed him for three years and $38 million — regardless of Moustakas coming off a year in which he set a Royals franchise record with 38 home runs. Not even super-agent Scott Boras, who represents Moustakas, could coax teams into a bidding war for his client. The bridge deal in Kansas City gave Moustakas a chance for a victory lap with the Royals with the likelihood that contenders would come calling on him as the trade deadline neared.

Which is exactly what happened. The Brewers traded Jorge Lopez and Brett Phillips to acquire the two-time All-Star and 2015 World Series champion at the deadline and put him in the middle of a lineup that came one win shy of the National League pennant. That marriage came to a temporary end when Moustakas declined a $15 million mutual option with Milwaukee to dive back into free agency. Following another slow offseason, Moustakas ended up back with the Brewers for at least one more year.

Third baseman Mike Moustakas is returning to Milwaukee. (AP)
Third baseman Mike Moustakas is returning to Milwaukee. (AP)

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