Where will Moose end up?

By Steve Sell
July 19, 2018

The Baltimore Orioles traded All-Star third baseman Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday for a package of five prospects, including a couple of the best in the LA system.

Machado was the "big get" that every contender wanted. It was thought that Philadelphia — which surprisingly is in the National League East race — was the frontrunner, but the Phillies, who probably need Machado more than the Dodgers, couldn't put together an attractive-enough offer.

The Dodgers' farm system is flush with prospects and they have an infinite source of revenue. If they really want a player, they're like the Yankees and Red Sox, they can simply buy him.

The Dodgers, obviously, are banking they'll be able to re-sign Machado, who is just approaching his prime. Who wouldn't want to play for a team that wins its division every year and is an endorsement mecca?

The Orioles knew they weren’t going to re-sign Machado at the end of the year, even though he's been in the system for 8 years. Loyalty only goes so far. Just ask DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors.

With Machado off the board, attention now turns to another third baseman that is going to be traded any day now. That would be the Royals' Mike Moustakas, who probably has had his bags packed for the last 3 weeks.

Let me make this clear — Moustakas is no Machado. Not even close.

But Moustakas is a former All-Star and having a good year for the Royals. We are less than 2 weeks away from the trade deadline and I’m sure Dayton Moore is listening to any and all offers.

It makes too much sense for the Yankees to trade for Moose. Yankee Stadium's short right-field porch is tailor-made for the pull-hitting Moustakas. What New York really needs in its breakneck race with Boston is a first baseman, which is why the Royals played Moustakas at first recently with New York scouts reportedly in the stands.

Moustakas will never hit for a high average, he's a .260s guy because he doesn't get many leg hits. He has below-average speed and an eventual move to first base is inevitable. But for now he's still a more than capable glove man at third and probably has a couple of good years left at that position.

I think the Royals need to get at least three prospects for Moustakas, which means Moore needs to be talking to a contender with a strong system. He’s a rental, though, and contenders might be reluctant to give up too much for a player that may be there only 2 months.

But the Royals have to pull the trigger. Hopefully they’ll get some pitching help, as their team ERA is by far the worst in baseball. Pitching and defense is what won the Royals their World Championship just 3 years ago. They need to get back to the blueprint.

And just think about that last statement — 3 years ago the Royals were World Champions. Man, did things just crash and burn in a short time.