The deal still isn’t officially announced by the Cincinnati Reds, but it’s been widely reported that the Reds are in agreement for a 4-year and $64M deal with free agent infielder Mike Moustakas. Here at Redleg Nation we reached out to the staff to get some reaction to the deal.
I love this move. It’s a massive positional upgrade. The Reds are basically replacing a guy like Jose Peraza with an All-Star caliber player. Mike Moustakas would have had the second highest OPS/WAR on the team last year behind Eugenio Suarez. People can harp on the years and the money, but the Reds did what they needed to do to upgrade the roster. Isn’t this what we want from the front office?
I like the signing of Mike Moustakas. This gives the Reds more offense, stability at second base and at the same time weakens a division rival. My only concern is his age but I can certainly live with a 31-year old slugger at second base. Nick Senzel’s injury history also bothers me but let’s see what happens in 2020. I hope the Reds go after Yasiel Puig and a solid relief pitcher. Let Tyler Stephenson get experience at Louisville. Let Jonathan India and Jose Siri continue to develop. With that, I’d be good to go for 2020.
The Reds signing Moustakas is very exciting. Any doubt that the Reds were not doing everything they can to put a contender on the field in 2020 was put to rest. Possibly even more exciting than the move itself was the news across multiple platforms that the Reds are far from done this off-season. It is going to be a very exciting couple of months, and it will hopefully be an even more exciting 2020 season.
Now to the actual player: there is no question that Moustakas makes the Reds a better team in 2020. He is a big bat that the Reds can put in the middle of the lineup. He provides that “fear” to pitchers that the Reds at times lacked top to bottom in their lineup in 2019. Moustakas is a little overrated from the sense of his overall value if you just look at his home runs and RBI. He is around 10-15% better of a hitter than league average, and not an elite hitter like his homer total might leave some to believe.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and the Reds got him for a better than market price. I only say that to make sure we all understand that the Reds will need to do more than just signing Moustakas, and they have made every indication that they will. Moustakas is not an Anthony Rendon level signing that with one move is going to turn the Reds into a juggernaut, but he is probably a much better value and certainly less long term risk.
Signing Mike Moustakas is an important step for the Reds on multiple levels. It addresses the immediate on the field need to “Get The Hitting”. Perhaps even more importantly, the signing sends a clear indication the club is ready to put its money where its mouth is to step up and compete for the playoffs.
Thus the Moustakas signing reinforces the action last off season of getting the pitching. Together they speak not just to we followers of the team; but, also to the organization from the top down including players, managers, coaches and front office personnel. The message hopefully will be taken that it is no longer OK to just go through the motions of seeming to compete. Now is the time to step up and truly compete or make way for those who will answer this call.
Some will say the term is too long or the money too much for a guy of Moustakas’ age and performance level. Going strictly by the numbers, they may have an arguable point. However the term and money are in part an opportunity cost the Reds had to pay to demonstrate not just to their fans and organization but also to other free agents the team may wish to pursue now and in the near future that the Reds are in for real. Once the team begins to show sustained progress on the field, the word will soon be out Cincinnati is now a desirable destination, freeing the Reds from paying a surcharge for talent.
Then hopefully we can all sit back and enjoy watching the local team play meaningful baseball into and through September once again.
Flags fly forever. And the goal is to raise that flag, isn’t it? For too long Cincinnati and other “small markets” have been told that the only way to win is to try and find bargains. And there’s nothing at all wrong with finding a bargain…. when that bargain works out. But there’s always a reason it’s a bargain in the first place. You don’t know what you’re about to get.
A decade ago the idea that a 4-year and $64M deal was considered chump change in free agency. Now it’s being viewed and spoken about as if it’s some insane overspend and terrible deal. It seems that today, both front offices and fans alike are only willing to think about paying someone in free agency if they are a mythical unicorn. At a time when baseball revenues are at an all-time high, teams and fans seem to care more about being smart than being the best.
The Cincinnati Reds seem to be one of a very small number of teams in baseball that are actively trying to get better. The Boston Red Sox are trying to get rid of All-Stars and MVP’s. Over in Chicago the Cubs are “worried” about money, too. And I’m sure that the Reds are also worried about money a little bit. At some point, every business is. But it sure feels like the Reds are trying to spend theirs, while other teams are trying to pocket more of it. Cincinnati is giving it a real effort. Again. With how baseball has operated the last few years, I’m all about a team actually trying.
Photo of Mike Moustakas by Ian D’Andrea. Photo has been modified. License can be found here.
Doug, did you see this article from ESPN?
Obviously, none of these trades are destined to happen, but do you think that 1-2 years of Bryant (depending on his service time manipulation) would be worth parting with Lodolo, Garrett, and Santillan?
I did. Actually working on a little piece about it right now – among several other things.
if that is for 2 years of Bryant, yes, please
Anyone keeping track of where we sit with salary commitments? Can we add Puig and Castellanos now?
Assuming that Moustakas is actually getting $16M per year, they have $80,189,880 due to Votto, Gray, Moustakas, Suarez, Iglesias, Galvis, Barnhart, and Jankowski.
MLB Trade Rumors arbitration projections for Bauer, DeSclafani, Lorenzen, Casali, and Bowman would add $30,600,000 to that number.
Everyone else is pre-arb as things stand now. That’s roughly $7.6-8M for the rest of the roster.
That total would put the Reds at about $119M right now.
MLBTR has Castellano at 4-years, $58M, and Puig at 1-year and $8M. Assuming those numbers are correct, yes they could probably also fit in both of those deals.
Doug, thanks a ton for doing this!!! Would you be looking at free agency or trades to fill the outfield? Who’d you go for if you were in charge?
I gotta imagine dealing Winker/Ervin for cash and adding Puig and Castellanos would be an improvement. Puig’s offense isn’t really a huge upgrade, but he’s good defensively and can run the bases better than Wink/Ervin. And he stays healthy. WAR might be about the same, but they definitely play different roles. That said, I don’t see Puig coming back.
I am really happy to see a major hole in the lineup being filled. He may not be the best but he is a workhorse, and he brings the opportunity to actually add some depth to the lineup.
Riffing on a typical batting order from last year- 1) Senzel 2) Votto 3) Suarez 4) Moustakas 5) Aquino? 6) Winker/Ervin? 7) Galvis
8) Barnhart… we’re still looking at a situation where there is significant room for improvement from the middle to the back of the order. I’d love to see another big bat in the outfield, maybe dealing Winker to the AL and keeping Ervin as a bench guy, or trading him too. Ervin hit well against the Rockies but seemed more like a bench piece than a starter, as much as I like him.
The prospect of adding two more big bats to the order? So exciting… I’m fine with Galvis as long as we can get some serious production from the outfield.
I still wish we had a proper lead off hitter, but Senzel seemed to produce better batting first in the order.
Actually, looking at the lineup as it stands, there isn’t really much speed there at all. Tuck, Suarez, Votto, Winker, Moose, serious molasses
I love Suarez, but, how about some fun, trade Suarez for Mookie, move Nick to Second, Moose to Third. We are now strong defensively at all three position. ( I know, Suarez contract is great, and we would have to get Mookie to sign a 5 year 150 million contract) but……………………….
Suarez value is high, but I don’t see the point in trading your best bat. Build around Suarez
Mookie will be asking for 400MM. I expect his deal to be slightly higher than Harper. Somewhere in the 10/350-380 range.
Why would mookie sign for 150M when two lesser players (machado, harper) got over 300M last year in free agency? He’s looking at getting something between Harper (330M) and Trout (400M++). Think 350M, then you can sign Mookie. Still interested?
Do you think the Sox would make that trade?
With the Braves signing Cole Hamels I’d think they won’t be hot and heavy after Madbum
Should the Reds start looking into him?
I would love to see Madbum in a Reds uniform.
Why isn’t it finalized yet?
I would speculate they are going for a Redsfest splash?
Is there any value in pursuing something like a three year deal with Disco?
Being Billy Beane smart for a small market team means performing like the Oakland A’s over the past couple decades…..as opposed to our Cincinnati Reds.
Resources are limited. That’s what makes this interesting.