news 1 week ago

Reds reportedly sign Mike Moustakas, and that's just wild

Sporting News — (Joe Rivera)

Are Mooses indigenous to Cincinnati?

Well, they are now, according to reports, since Mike Moustakas is reportedly heading to the Reds on a four-year, $64 million pact.

It's a curious Moose move, to say the least: Moustakas is a third baseman, and the Reds already have a pretty good one in Eugenio Suárez, who was worth 4.5 fWAR last season and has been one of the more underrated players in baseball since he entered the league. Suárez recently signed a six-year, $66 million contract extension to stay in Cincinnati, too. Team friendly for sure, but he won't be going anywhere.

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So, what does this mean for Moustakas and the Reds' lineup?

Well, the Reds had trouble scoring runs in 2019 — at 4.3 runs per game, that was one of the worst marks in the NL. It helps to pair Moustakas in a lineup that features Suárez, Joey Votto and second-year prospect Nick Senzel.

Well, Moustakas won't play short — though, I'd definitely sign up to see that — first or third. That means the move could push the 31-year-old to second, where Nick Senzel made his home coming up through the Reds' system. So that means Senzel, who played 96 games in the outfield in 2019, could be pushed there permanently come 2020, with Moustakas playing second for the foreseeable future.

But wait! There's more!

Moustakas actually is a decent second baseman, playing 359 2/3 innings at second with the Brewers in 2019 and had 0 DRS, per Fangraphs. His -0.5 UZR/150 isn't a bad thing, either. Whether that's sustainable over the course of a 162-game season remains to be seen, but the early returns aren't bad. Getting a power guy like Moustakas at second is a great idea.

So if the move is indeed to keep Moustakas at second base, then the Reds are going to have a better offense to pair with one of the more sneaky underrated staffs in baseball, by the numbers — should things hold up in 2020 as they did in 2019.