Mike Moustakas Signs a $6.5 million, 1-year contract with the Royals

Author: Nirwan Vibhor


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It's official - Mike Moustakas agrees to a one-year playing deal and $ 6.5 million guaranteed by the Kansas City Royals. Moreover, the deal which features a mutual second-year option can max out at a whopping $22.7 million, according to sources. The news was first made official by Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, and definitely, is a career-defining moment for the third baseman.

Last fall, the Royals did make a qualifying offer of $17.4 million to Moustakas. Because of this qualifying offer, any other team that went on to sign him would have had to forfeit the international bonus pool money and a Draft pick. This slight edge for the Royals in terms of negotiations became inconsequential this year because of the free-agent market. The market is all set to be flooded with third basemen including Manny Machado (though he’s set to play shortstop this season) and Josh Donaldson.

Current Remunerations

In terms of salary, Moustakas gets a $5.5 million this year and may earn an additional $2.2 million in the form of performance bonuses for plate appearance milestones. Therefore, he would make $200,000 each for the 225, 250, 275, 300, 325 and 350 plate appearances (PA), and $250,000 apiece for the 375, 400, 425 and 450 appearances. In case, Moustakas receives these bonuses, while the option is declined, the cumulative value of the current deal with the Royals would equal the $8.7 million in remunerations he earned in 2017.

The “Royal” Deal

In November, Moustakas, the 29-year-old infielder, did refuse a one-year, $17.4 million-worth qualifying offer from the Royals. However, he didn’t spark much enthusiasm among other franchises because then a deal would mean a loss of international signing bonus allotment and/or draft picks. After the current season, Moustakas would not be getting another qualifying offer, because of a provision from the collective-bargaining agreement in November 2016. According to this, no player can receive more than one qualifying offer in his entire playing career. Talking about the current deal with the Royals, the paperwork also includes a $1 million buyout along with a $15 million mutual option for the year 2019.

The Squad after the Inclusion of Moustakas

Once Moustakas reaches the Kauffman Stadium, he’ll definitely see a significantly changed clubhouse. From the World Series Title winning squad of 2015 (the first title for the Royals in 30 years), first baseman Eric Hosmer has already left as a free agent, on a 7-year contract, worth $144 million with San Diego. In addition, the absence of center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who has left with an $80 million, 5-year contract for Milwaukee will certainly affect the team. That said, the Royals were able to secure Moustakas because of a languid market and unsigned free agents. Along with him, the club did also keep shortstop Alcides Escobar, first baseman Lucas Duda, and outfielder Jon Jay, all for a one-year deal worth $2.5 million, $3.5 million and $3 million respectively. That said, outfielder Jay will have to share the playing time with Paulo Orlando, Jorge Bonifacio, and Jorge Soler. Cheslor Cuthbert will also get significant playing time at third base along with Ramon Torres. Talking about Moustakas, the left-handed power bat is definitely a much-needed addition in the lineup.

Moustakas’ Impact on the team

The last season was quite eventful for Moustakas when got an All-Star for the second time. Not only did he set a season record for the Royals with 38 home runs, he also completed an impressive 85 runs to finish off his most productive playing season yet. That said, his arrival means that Ned Yost, current Royals manager has his work cut out, to find consistent at-bats for Cuthbert. With Lucas Duda at first base, Moustakas at third base and the recent inclusion of  Jon Jay, it would mean that the DH spot could be a definite logjam. Moreover, Moustakas signing would also significantly impact the 25-man squad. Yost will likely have six infielders in place of five. This would mean that they will have four outfielders, namely Jay, Soler, Alex Gordon and Bonifacio. The Royals could also decide on carrying seven relievers rather than eight, which would mean that Orlando will also be on the 25-man roster.

 

(All photographs are courtesy of the original owners unless otherwise indicated)


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