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Moustakas’ offseason deal pays big dividends for Milwaukee
I want to start this player review with a confession: I didn’t want the Milwaukee Brewers to sign Mike Moustakas in the offseason. My assumption was the Travis Shaw would be as good a player for a cheaper contract and that Keston Hiura would come up and take over at second, and the crowd would cause a disaster. I didn’t hate the idea, but I didn’t think it was a necessary move. Well, David Stearns and the Milwaukee Brewers made me a look like a chump.
In his first full season with the Milwaukee Brewers, Mike Moustakas was a key member of the roster. His 35 homers was good for second on the team, his .516 SLG was third, and the third-best ISO.
After the 2018 season, Moustakas struggled to find the deal he wanted on the open market for the second consecutive offseason. When he finally got a one-year deal he liked from the Brewers, he agreed and came to Spring Training to play second base. The team decided to switch it’s 2018 strategy from Moustakas playing third and Travis Shaw playing second.
Moustakas shifted back to third base when Shaw saw a significant dip in performance. He became a centerpiece of the lineup and key offensive contributor.
Moose ended the 2019 season with his second-highest single-season home run total, highest BB%, second-best slugging percentage and wRC+, and third-highest WAR. He is now headed to free agency, unless the Brewers and Moustakas pick up his mutual option for $11 million. Otherwise, the now 31-year-old will advertise his new-found defensive versatility and hope to finally get a contract that goes past a year.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs