Baltimore Orioles rumors: Thoughts on signing Mike Moustakas
As the Baltimore Orioles have been incredibly slow to do much of anything in this Hot Stove season, rumors about Mike Moustakas have arisen.
The Baltimore Orioles are rumored to be tied to Moustakas as a possible replacement for Manny Machado, if he were to be traded.
This rumor comes from Roch Kubatko with MASNSports.
The problem with this rumor is that the Orioles need pitching. At this moment, they do not need a third baseman. They already have one. Just because the current third baseman wants to play shortstop (another position the team already has), the Orioles do not need to sign a high-priced corner infielder.
If the Orioles were to trade Tim Beckham, then Mike Moustakas could be an interesting addition. Imagine Machado and Moustakas plugging up the left side of the infield and using their big bats in the middle of the order.
Moustakas bats left, but throws right – which makes him an effective third baseman. Interestingly, his range factor is nearly the same as Machado’s. Moustakas has a career range per nine of 2.68, while Machado’s is 2.91. The league average is 2.59. And, defensively, they have close fielding percentages. Machado’s career is .968 and Moustakas has a fielding percentage of .960. League average is .956.
Where the two differ is at the plate. Moustakas has a career slash of .251/.305/.425 to Machado’s career slash of .279/.329/.476. Moustakas’s career slash is closer to Machado’s worst season – which just happened to be 2017. In his seven years with the Kansas City Royals, Moustakas has hit 119 home runs. Machado hit 105 in 2015, 2016, and 2017 combined.
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Don’t get me wrong. Moustakas is a good third baseman. He’s been to two All-Star Games (Machado has been to three). He’s just not Manny Machado. And, he can’t pitch.
The Orioles need pitching. The news out of the Orioles camp should be about pitching.
There is clearly interest in good third basemen in the MLB marketplace. If there wasn’t, teams would not continue to ask about Machado. Moustakas is a less expensive option at the Hot Corner. And, if he does not return to the Royals, who currently do not have a third baseman, he could go to one of the teams in New York or nearly anywhere else that needs a good third baseman who is better than Todd Frazier but not as good as Machado.
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Enough about Moustakas and Machado. The Orioles need pitching. The team needs to focus on what it doesn’t have rather than what it does have.