Phillies free agent target Mike Moustakas has signed a four-year, $60 million-plus contract to play second base for the Cincinnati Reds.
For yet another offseason, Mike Moustakas is officially off the Phillies board.
On Monday, the nine-year, three-time All-Star veteran infielder inked a four-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. He will become the Reds everyday second baseman, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
With the Phillies rumored to be possibly moving on from third baseman Maikel Franco, as soon as this evening amid the non-tender deadline, the club reportedly has explored other options to play the hot corner in 2020. Moustakas was among the few named external options.
The 31-year-old had been linked to the Phillies in rumors over the past few offseasons, in part due to him only securing one-year deals in consecutive years, with Kansas City Royals in 2018 and the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019.
“I think he’s pretty strongly in the Phillies’ crosshairs,” NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury said on a recent At the Yard podcast. “I get the sense that maybe after lingering out there and signing one-year deals the last couple years, Moustakas might like to have some certainty going into the winter, going into the holidays and knowing where he’s going to be for a couple of years.”
As it turns out, Moustakas signed sooner than later after all … just not with the Phillies.
Described as a “real character guy, real competitive guy, [and] really good in the clubhouse,” Moustakas has excelled in his career; this past season, he slugged 35 home runs and 87 RBI with the Milwaukee Brewers, good for his third career All-Star nod.
Moustakas’ four-year deal is reportedly worth $64 million, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
And, now that the Phillies will not sign the Los Angeles, California, native, they must look elsewhere for a new third baseman.
As the Inquirer’s Scott Lauber notes, one route the club could now take is signing Didi Gregorius to play shortstop, which could move Jean Segura to second base and allow Scott Kingery to play at the hot corner full-time.
Coincidentally, Moustakas will now play alongside former Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis in Cincinnati.