Yesterday saw the media announce the Cincinnati Reds agreeing to terms on a 4-year and $64M deal with free agent Mike Moustakas. The Reds haven’t officially announced the deal yet. That likely means that they are simply waiting for the player to pass a physical. It’s not only the largest contract ever handed out by the Reds in free agency to a position player (by $47M), it’s also the largest contract ever given out to a free agent by the Reds. The previous record deal was given out to closer Francisco Cordero more than a decade ago.

If you pour through the comments section here at Redleg Nation, hang out on twitter, troll on facebook, or listen to sports talk radio – you likely heard varying opinions on what the Reds agreed to yesterday. But what is the national media saying about the deal with their initial reactions? Here are a few of the early reactions.

The Athletic

Over at The Athletic they had several of their writers chime in on the deal. You’ll need a subscription to read the entire piece, but here’s an quick take from Marc Craig from within:

The need for Moustakas was clear, and the Reds paid quite the premium, doling out a 4-year, $64 million deal to a player who will be 31 on Opening Day. So what? Moustakas makes the Reds better immediately, and that means something for a franchise that has signaled their aspirations. Deals like this provide insights into how an organization views itself. Not only do the Reds see themselves as contenders, but they also sense an urgency to get back to the playoffs for the first time since a wild-card game loss to the Pirates 2013. Clearly, the Reds also see themselves as resourceful enough to make Moustakas work at second base thanks to the use of careful positioning.

Timing also comes into play. The Reds have assembled a strong pitching staff, and there aren’t any super teams residing in the NL Central. There’s an opportunity to make some noise and the Reds aren’t letting it pass.

Ken Rosenthal, Jayson Stark, C. Trent Rosecrans, Andy McCullough, and Eno Sarris all also weighed in on the deal.

MLB Trade Rumors

Jeff Todd was appointed the coverage at MLB Trade Rumors of the signing of Mike Moustakas by the Cincinnati Reds.

Even at his best, Moustakas has never rated as a true star. He has topped 2.0 fWAR in each of the past three campaigns but hasn’t gone past 3.0 since 2015. While bWAR put him at 3.2 wins above replacement in 2019, it took a dimmer view of his prior three seasons. And at this point, youth isn’t really on Moose’s side. But the Reds obviously feel that Moustakas will continue to be a steady producer and were willing to pay for his consistency. It stands to reason that other teams did as well, since the bidding pushed so far north.

Jon Heyman

On twitter, Jon Heyman chimed in a little bit after announcing the deal between the Cincinnati Reds and Mike Moustakas.

Moustakas will play 2B for Reds. Looked good there for Brewers. Reds are looking pretty good for next year. Rotation was already strong, and lineup is looking better. Could they be the NL Central favorite?

National League Central favorite? That sounds nice, doesn’t it?


Keith Law’s headline at ESPN (an ESPN+ article, which requires a subscription to read) is: Reds overpay Mike Moustakas in bid to move up in NL Central….. He hates it. For the Reds.

Mike Moustakas might have been a good fit for a lot of clubs, but the Reds were not one of them.