The Moose is on the loose. Mike Moustakas finally has a long term deal. After signing a pair of one year deals in back to back offseasons, Moustakas finally cashed in. Mike Moustakas has signed a 4-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds. The Moose will earn $64 million over the course of the contract. A huge financial commitment for the Reds. Cincinnati is ready to contend again.
Jeff Passan of ESPN was the first to report the news:
The hot stove is heating up and the Reds have been busy. Earlier today, Cincinnati non-tendered Jose Peraza. That tells you all you need to know about this deal. Mike Moustakas is the new Reds 2nd baseman. Freddy Galvis will man short while Eugenio Suarez will man third. While Moustakas has been a lifetime third baseman, the way shifts are now, I’m not sure athleticism is much of an issue that it would have been years ago. Moose did play some 2nd during his tenure in Milwaukee.
The $16 million per year contract is fair if Moose continues to rake. It’s the length that should give the Reds concern as Moustakas will enter his age 31 season. Over the past two years, the former Royal World Series champion has slugged 63 homers. That’s not a bad number. Moose smacked 35 homers in 2019 along with an OPS+ of 114. If his bat continues to show up like this, then the Reds made a wise move here.
The Reds lineup is starting to take shape. Adding a bat like Mike Moustakas helps. Add in Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker, Nick Senzel, and Aristides Aquino and you’re starting to sell me. The Reds might be better than expected. If they get good years out of Trevor Bauer and Sonny Gray, they could be in the mix in what is a tough NL Central. Milwaukee will certainly miss Moustakas. The Reds steal a player from a division rival who already lost Yasmani Grandal earlier this winter.
The Reds still more work to do but they made a big splash. They want everyone to know they are contenders in the NL Central next year. The Cubs are dealing with payroll struggles. The Pirates are the Pirates. Who knows what can happen. All we know is this signing indicates the Reds are players again. An important step for a franchise that hasn’t made the postseason since 2012.