Mike Moustakas, 3B
Bats: Left – Throws: Right
Born: Sept. 11, 1988 (29)
2017 Stats: .272/.314/.521, 148 G, 555 AB, 38 HR, 85 RBI, 34 BB, 94 SO, .835 OPS
The Mets have to add at least one veteran bat this offseason to the lineup. With so much of their veteran talent being traded away, they are left with Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, and Michael Conforto to highlight the offense. So, they will need to find a place to add a bat in the lineup.
Some of the options for this include third base, second base, and the outfield. The one that stands out the most is the first option.
Third base has been left unfilled the last few offseasons with the hopes of an eventual David Wright return. However, it has become more and more likely each year that Wright will not be able to return as the everyday third baseman for this team, and possibly at all.
So, the team needs to start considering their internal and external options. In terms of internal, they could retain Asdrubal Cabrera on his cheap $8.5 million options for the 2018 season with a buyout that costs $2 million anyways.
They could also go with Wilmer Flores or T.J. Rivera once he returns from the disabled list. However, neither looked especially sharp at the position this season and both remain question marks in terms of their ability to become everyday players.
Moustakas presents the biggest upside among the group. His 38 homers stand out among the rest this past season. However, there is one quality he has that stands out even more.
His playoff experience and pedigree really makes him appealing. Known for being a part of the pesky Kansas City Royals, that made us all miserable in 2015, he brings a leadership quality that has been lacking on this team.
Moustakas will likely command a deal of around five years and $100+ million. This, unfortunately, could push him out of the Mets price range if it reaches this level. However, there is a chance he could be had for less considering the lack of teams that will actually be in the market for a third baseman. Without the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Los Angeles Dodgers, his market could suffer.
While I think Moustakas could potentially be a great addition to this lineup, I cannot see the Mets pulling the trigger on someone whose contract is likely going to be massive. Add in the low walk-rate and a season that appears to be more of an anomaly, and the odds become extremely slim. His career .251/.305/.425 slash line does not bode well for long-term success.
As a result, the Mets will likely go in another direction in which they will search for more of utility infielder rather than a commitment of this magnitude. In this case, they might be wise to do so. They need a long-term solution at third base, but Moustakas is likely not going to be worth the contract he is expected to receive.