As the calendar quickly flips from January to February, many big free agents are left and one of those is third baseman Mike Moustakas.
The former Kansas City Royal, was originally thought to draw interest from many teams but has fallen victim to the very slow free agent market. Players may not show it, but going into February without an idea of where they are going to play can be extremely stressful. This leads players to accept deals below their original asking price and teams like the Mets are able to steal guys like this off the market.
The Mets have shied away from Moustakas because of his original asking price. Todd Frazier has emerged as the candidate to round out the Mets infield but the Mets can still do better. The signing of Jose Reyes to join third base and middle infield candidates Asdrubal Cabrera, Amed Rosario, Wilmer Flores and maybe David Wright does not show confidence to sign Frazier or confidence in having Frazier replace Wright.
In comparison over their last three seasons, Frazier has the lead in Homer Runs and RBIs but that is where it ends. Including his injury shortened 2016 season, Moustakas has a higher OBP, SLG% and a better batting average. Defensively the two are about the same and they both are above average defenders.
The upside on Moustakas is he is heading into his age-29 season and Frazier is heading into his age-32 season. Fans also rave about Frazier’s leadership but Moustakas is a leader in his own way as well. The 2015 World Series provided a perfect example when yelled profanities at Noah Syndergaard after he started Game 3 with a brush back pitch to Alcides Escobar.
Todd Frazier would not be the worst player the team can sign but the Mets should not have to downgrade in the free agent market if they do not have to. Moustakas would be a terrific fit for a Mets team who needs a healthy and younger third baseman. Unfortunately, every decision depends on the Mets ownership and they usually kill the team’s chances to bring in a player like Moustakas.