In a bit of sensical, but still sad news, the Kansas City Royals have traded long-time third baseman Mike Moustakas to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers are currently 2.5 GB of the NL Central leading Cubs but lead the NL Wild Card by 2 games. In return, the Royals will get 24-year old CF Brett Phillips and 25-year old RHP Jorge Lopez. Let’s take a look at the two players the Royals got in return.
The jury is still out on Brett Phillips, but you will hear no confusion from me. I love the pickup. Is Brett Phillips likely to be an All-Star in CF? Probably not, but I think he’s more than capable of handling the position every day in the big leagues. He’s fast, plays great defense, takes his walks, and has enough power to stay out of the cellar of a lineup. In 37 big league at-bats last season as a 23-year old, Phillips posted a slash line of .276/.351/.448/.799 with 4 HR and 5 SB. Uhh, that’ll play. He also posted a 4.9 DEF rating according to FanGraphs, which is a 21.5 pace over 162 games. That would rank among the top 3-4 in all of baseball, at any position. Has he struggled with strikeouts? Sure. But he does PLENTY to contribute to a winning team.
In Jorge Lopez, the Royals are getting a live bullpen arm that’s found some mild success in the big leagues this season for Milwaukee. He’s probably not more than a 6-7th inning guy, but he could be just as effective as Luke Hochevar was in the 2015 ‘pen.
For 3 months of Mike Moustakas, this feels like a great return. Moose’s power will play up in Milwaukee and the Royals get two guys that help the big league team both immediately (thank goodness) and in the future (even better).
Thank you for everything, Moose. You’ll forever be one of the most beloved Royals players in history. It’s been a great run.