The Cincinnati Reds have gauged interest in second baseman Mike Moustakas on the trade market according to a report from Jeff Passan of ESPN. This is just the latest report that the Reds are seemingly willing to listen in on offers for just about anyone in their organization. Moustakas, who has only played one year of his four year contract that he signed last offseason with Cincinnati, now joins All-Star pitchers Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray, as well as All-Star third baseman Eugenio Suárez as players that have been rumored to have been discussed by the front office.
The 2020 season wasn’t a strong debut in the organization for Mike Moustakas, but it wasn’t bad, either. He hit .230/.331/.468 on the year in 44 games played. Much like many other Cincinnati hitters, Moustakas didn’t hit for much of an average on the year. His OPS+ came in at 108, better than the league average. His average never really moved much, but on September 4th he entered the day with a .648 OPS on the season. Over the final 21 games of the year he put up an OPS of .952 as his power output went up and his strikeout rate dropped off in a big way. Over the first 23 games he struck out 23 times in 84 trips to the plate (27.4% K rate). In those final 21 games he struck out just 13 times in 79 plate appearances (16.5% K rate).
If teams around Major League Baseball are going to continue to act as if the money tree has wilted and gone extinct, it’s going to be tough to see a scenario where Moustakas and the three years left on his contract at $14M, $16M, and $18M (not including the $4M buyout on a $20M team option in 2024) is going to generate much interest at all unless Cincinnati is willing to take on plenty of money in that trade.
If nothing else, the word is clearly out: Cincinnati is trying to cut payroll, even if it means trading their best players.
Reds sign Matt Ball and Josh Osich
The Cincinnati Reds announced on Monday evening that they have signed right-handed pitcher Matt Ball and left-handed pitcher Josh Osich to minor league deals for 2021 with invitations to spring training.