While free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas hasn’t drawn much reported interest of late, that wasn’t the case early in the offseason, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com writes.
However, teams that initially pursued Moustakas balked at his asking price, Feinsand adds. Now, at least one general manager expects Moustakas to land a far less valuable deal than some outlets – including MLBTR – projected entering the offseason.
“When you see what (Jay) Bruce got from the Mets, it’s hard to see Moustakas getting more than that,” said the GM, referring to Bruce’s three-year, $39MM contract.
While Bruce will play his age-31 season in 2018 and Moustakas won’t turn 30 until September, the former did not enter the winter with a qualifying offer attached. Moustakas did, which is among a few factors that have worked against him on the market, as Feinsand details in his piece.
Center fielder Charlie Blackmon could be part of one of the best free agent classes of all-time next year, but he’s open to signing an extension with the Rockies and forgoing a trip to the market.
“It’s a two-way street,” the 31-year-old told Thomas Harding of MLB.com. “I really like playing here. It’s been a great place to be. I like the people. I like the teammates. And I’ve also been on a one-year situation for the past three to four years, so it doesn’t really change anything for me. I’m used to that go-out-and-produce mindset. Hopefully, something happens. That would be great.”
If something doesn’t happen, the reigning NL batting champion (.331) will play 2018 for $14MM and vie for a third straight star-caliber season.
The Indians reportedly plan to play Jason Kipnis at second base in 2018, but they haven’t yet informed him of that, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com relays. It’s “more than likely” Kipnis will man the keystone, manager Terry Francona acknowledged, though Bastian notes that he may open the year in left field if Michael Brantley isn’t ready to return from the right ankle surgery he underwent in October. Kipnis, for his part, is “excited to play wherever they need me.” The career-long Indian, 30, also indicated he’s pleased to still be with Cleveland, despite offseason trade rumors.