Let’s take a look at a potential free agent the White Sox could be eying. Another very familiar player for White Sox fans and good clubhouse presence for this team. Mike Moustakas, much like kelvin Herrera who was signed by the Sox earlier this week, made his debut for the Royals in 2011 and was instrumental in the back to back World Series appearances. Mike is a career 13.2 WAR player according to fangraphs, who has above average offensive and defensive value. Moose was taken by the Royals second overall in the 2007 draft, and was considered a top prospect early in his minor league career.
Moose can come into the clubhouse and can command the attention of it immediately being a veteran and proven winner. He, like Kelvin, has gone through the growing pains of a rebuild and seen what it takes to come out winning the last game at the end. Largely healthy throughout his career, Mike only missed a large chunk of time in 2016 after a fractured thumb and after he returned he tore his ACl after an outfield collision with Alex Gordon ending his 2016 campaign. He led the 2014 postseason in homeruns, and as stated earlier, was instrumental in the 2015 World Championship win so he doesn’t shrivel when the lights shine brightest.
Kiley McDaniels from Fangraphs has Moustakas projected for a 2 year deal worth a total of 22 million dollars, so 11 million a year. We know the White Sox have gobs of money, and at this point in the offseason he may have to settle for less. A team can look at what Eduardo Escobar signed for, three years for an average of seven million dollars a year as a comp for Mike, as the players are incredibly similar in both age and WAR, Eduardo was worth 5.0 and Moose was worth 5.2. I would expect the contract to be in that range with maybe a bit of a higher AAV for a shorter term, I am thinking two years with the last year being some kind of team option would make this a very intriguing option for Hahn and company.
Now the main question is how does he fit in with the Sox. Assuming they strikeout on Manny Machado, I think he fits very well. Now the bigger unknown is whether Rick and Ricky really want to give Yoan Moncada some run at third base which was teased at the conclusion of last season. As a third option especially on a short deal this is definitely not bad. The hopeful third baseman of the future, Jake Burger, will be working on getting his legs back under him after suffering two Achilles tears last year and won’t be ready until March and won’t be ready for the majors until the end of 2019. Moose can DH too and there is developmental value in Yolmer Sanchez getting spread around more positions to see if he can be the super utility guy the team will need. In 57 career games at Guaranteed Rate (man we really need a nickname for the stadium) Mike has a .236/.301/.433 slash line with ten home runs, ten doubles, and 26 RBI’s.
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