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Moustakas Has Dwindling Free-Agent Options.

Teams that are looking to add a power hitter before the start of the 2018 MLB season still have options in free agency. Even with Eric Hosmer and J.D. Martinez agreeing to long-term contracts, a player that hit 38 home runs in 2017 and has made two of the last three American League All-Star teams remains unsigned.

That player is Mike Moustakas, and he might be having the most frustrating offseason of any free agent. Once projected to land a deal worth somewhere (https://www.mlb.com/news/predicting-spots-for-top-25-mlb-free-agents/c-260157832) between $80 million and $100 million , the third baseman is still trying to find a home with spring training underway.

When taking a look at all 30 MLB teams, it's hard to find a team that would be willing to pay big money for Moustakas. His best option might be to take a one-year contract and hope that he can earn a long-term deal by having another productive season.

The New York Yankees are the latest team that can be crossed off the list of potential destinations. They'd been considered the dark-horse candidate to sign Moustakas because they didn't have a proven third baseman on the roster. New York corrected that by trading for Brandon Drury, who could be the team's Opening Day starter ahead of rookie Miguel Andujar.

The San Francisco Giants might've been a fit earlier in the offseason, but they traded for Evan Longoria to play third base. The Los Angeles Angels needed a third baseman, and they signed Zack Cozart to fill that need. Todd Frazier joined the New York Mets to be one of their two starting corner infielders.

A return to the Kansas City Royals is still possible for Moustakas, though unlikely. After watching Hosmer go to the San Diego Padres and Lorenzo Cain sign with the Milwaukee Brewers, the Royals seem prepared to move on from the core of hitters that led them to two World Series.

Maybe the St. Louis Cardinals will make a play for Moustakas now that he might be forced to settle for a team-friendly contract. St. Louis is looking for a third baseman, having shown interest in trading for Manny Machado or Josh Donaldson.

The Chicago White Sox could sign Moustakas. Before New York acquired Drury, a National League executive told (https://www.mlb.com/news/yankees-white-sox-top-fits-for-mike-moustakas/c-266762670) MLB.com's Jon Morosi that the Yankees and White Sox had the best chances to sign the third baseman. Chicago reportedly came the closest to trading for Machado in December.

After playing just 27 games in 2016, Moustakas was named the AL Comeback Player of the Year with a .272/.314/.521 slash line in 2017. The 29-year-old had a .818 OPS with 22 home runs in 2015.

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Feb 22, 2018
Words:466
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