The LA Angels have been linked to former Kansas City Royals’ third baseman Mike Moustakas ever since he was set to become a free agent.
Now, news has broken that the LA Angels are the 29-year-old slugger’s preferred destination. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reported that the Los Angeles native has the Halos “No. 1 on his wish list”.
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There is a lot for the Halos to consider when it comes to Moustakas. First, the salary he’d likely demand would be in the five-year, $90 million range. While the Halos can certainly afford that, they still have huge holes at second and first base that they need to address.
General manager Billy Eppler made it public knowledge that he is confident in their current starters. He is instead looking to upgrade the offense as much as possible this offseason. The possible additions at second base, such as Neil Walker or Cesar Hernandez, would be shorter deals with less money involved.
Moustakas did just turn in a career year highlighted by his franchise record 38 big flies. However, there is one flaw in his game that Eppler put significant value on. On-base percentage is a statistic that Eppler believes leads to success on offense. While Moustakas did hit for a .272 batting average, his OBP was just .314.
While this can certainly be looked over, it is something Eppler will be concerned about. In the long run, when a talent such as “Moose” wants to play for your team, a deal can always get done. Especially when he bats left-handed, another trait Eppler desires in 2018.
A deal like this will still leave room for the Halos to find veteran options at second and first. They may also choose to platoon first base instead. With “Moose” at third, Luis Valbuena can join CJ Cron at first for a solid platoon.
There is undoubtedly interest between both parties. Moustakas wants to come home and help his team contend for a championship. The Halos will be more than happy to make that happen. Signing Moustakas would add a power bat from the left side of the plate, and make the Halos lineup deadly.