Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports that the Milwaukee Brewers will send AAA outfielder Brett Phillips and reliever Jorge Lopez to the Kansas City Royals for Mike Moustakas. The team later confirmed the deal in a tweet.
3B Mike Moustakas has been acquired from Kansas City in exchange for OF Brett Phillips and RHP Jorge López. pic.twitter.com/whyCdXBEVb— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) July 28, 2018
Moustakas is a power bat who’s slugged 20 home runs for the Royals this year while mostly manning third base. He also can be controlled for an additional year thanks to a $15 million mutual option.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this move is what it means for Travis Shaw. Tom Haudricourt confirmed with manager Craig Counsell that Shaw will play second base to make room for Moustakas. Shaw has never played an official inning at second in his career, but has arguably handled the position well when covering it on shifts.
Counsell confirms that Travis Shaw is moving to 2B.— Tom (@Haudricourt) July 28, 2018
The Milwaukee Brewers lose two players with good potential. Brett Phillips was just ranked as the Crew’s 10th best prospect by MLB Pipeline. He has a great arm with solid defense and should hit for power in the majors; however, he’s undeniably blocked by other talent in the majors. This will give him the chance to get the playing time he deserves.
Jorge Lopez has been back and forth between the big league club and the AAA affiliate. He has found minimal success this year in both levels, but has the potential to be at least an average reliever once he irons some of his issues out.