With Josh Donaldson agreeing to a lucrative one-year deal with the Atlanta Braves, other teams looking for third base help aren’t wasting any time in moving on to the next name on their lists.
That could be very good news for Mike Moustakas.
According to Jon Heyman, the Brewers could possibly still be interested in bringing “Moose” back, but with Donaldson already signing, he could easily soon be priced out of the Brewers’ comfort range. Heyman reports a division rival that had been brought up as a possibility for Donaldson is now showing interest in bringing him in.
#STLCards have Mike Moustakas on radar. The difference this year: no draft choice attachment. Rival Brewers, Moose’s most recent team, among others with possible interest.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 27, 2018
Moustakas and the Cardinals is a fit that makes sense in a lot of ways. While St. Louis got decent production out of Jedd Gyorko at third (he hit .262/.346/.416 in 125 games) and Matt Carpenter is still a solid option there, Moustakas would provide better defense while also breaking up the righty-heavy Cardinals lineup. He’s also no stranger to baseball fans in Missouri after his time in Kansas City.
There’s always the chance Moustakas could return to Milwaukee -- file that under “you can never have too many good players” -- but if teams like the Cardinals and Donaldson’s old employers in Cleveland and Toronto start courting him, it may quickly get to the point where it doesn’t make sense for the Brewers to keep chasing him, especially considering Travis Shaw is a comparable player on a less expensive contract.
Moustakas found the free agent market chilly last winter, due in part to the qualifying offer Kansas City had attached to him and in part to the totally-not-suspicious slow free agent market as a whole. Now that teams no longer have to worry about giving up a draft pick to sign him, he could benefit as the fallback option for teams that were looking into Donaldson and can’t afford Manny Machado.