Phillies rumors: Team planning Mike Moustakas as backup option
If the Phillies fail to acquire Manny Machado, they and others are looking at Mike Moustakas as the backup plan at third base.
While the Phillies are hoping to land Manny Machado in free agency – he is reportedly their top target – they have to plan for the possibility that he signs with another team pursuing him, likely the Yankees or White Sox. If this does happen, they know what their next step is.
Jon Morosi of MLB.com reported Tuesday night that if the White Sox or Phillies fail to acquire Machado, they have interest in former Royal and Brewer Mike Moustakas:
"The Phillies and White Sox are monitoring Moustakas’ marketplace, sources say, and each club is interested in making him an offer if its preferred free-agent third baseman, Manny Machado, signs elsewhere."
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The Yankees don’t have a need for a Machado backup plan as they already have it in Rookie of the Year runner-up Miguel Andujar. However, both Philadelphia and Chicago still would like to fill the position another way.
In Philadelphia’s case, they are looking to move on from Maikel Franco after several underwhelming seasons. Moustakas provides at least somewhat of an upgrade offensively with the added bonus of being a left-handed power hitter. Even at Franco’s best, his offensive ceiling doesn’t compare to Moustakas’s.
Morosi also noted that the Padres could be interested in signing Moustakas.
However, they would need to move one of Wil Myers or Hunter Renfroe to make room for Moustakas. Morosi pointed out Moustakas going to high school in California as well as his former teammate, Eric Hosmer, already being employed by the Padres.
Moustakas is stuck in free-agent limbo for the second straight year. Many predicted he would get a large deal in free agency last year, but a freezing cold market led to him re-signing with the Royals for one year and $6.5 million. Now he is waiting for a deal yet again, although Machado signing will reportedly accelerate his market.