The Detroit Tigers should look to bring in the recently released Mike Moustakas
The Detroit Tigers still need a third baseman. The free agent market has no good options left, there aren't that many options on the trade market, and the internal candidates aren't good enough.
Pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 14, and the Tigers still haven't addressed one of the worst offenses in franchise history. The move I'm going to propose in this article won't exactly do that either, but it will give the Tigers something they've lacked for a long time—some depth.
The Detroit Tigers should sign Mike Moustakas—but on a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. He seems pretty cooked, but maybe he finds himself again down in Lakeland.
If the name sounds familiar, it's because he played for the Kansas City Royals from 2011-17. He was once their top prospect before coming up in 2011 according to MLB Pipeline.
His numbers were pretty pedestrian before he had his best year in 2015 to help the Royals win the World Series. He had a 123 wRC+ and 3.8 fWAR. In 2017, he hit a career high 38 home runs before becoming a free agent and re-signing with KC that offseason on a one-year prove-it deal.
He was traded to Milwaukee at the 2018 trade deadline and put up some pretty good numbers for them in 2019 as well, hitting 35 homers.
That offseason, he signed a four-year, $64 million deal with the Cincinnati Reds—the largest free agent signing in team history. Unfortunately, injuries really did a number on his time in Cincinnati, as he played only 140 games combined the last two seasons, which led to the Reds ultimately releasing him this week.
Moustakas has always been a guy who puts the ball in play and keeps the strikeouts down. That was until the last three years, where his strikeout rate has gone up exponentially. He has a serviceable 7.2% career walk rate. He's still capable of hitting the ball hard.
He used to be a solid defender, but his age and injuries have limited his range dramatically. He might not even he usuable there anymore.
Moustakas is a left-handed hitting infielder, something Scott Harris has been coveting all offseason. But at age 34 and an injury history mounting up, they shouldn't sign him to a major league deal.
Sign him to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. It would be a very low-risk move. If he struggles, simply DFA him. If he does well, maybe give him a shot with the big league club. There isn't much the team has to lose at this point.