Should the Angels Make a Run at Moustakas?

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Updated: February 28, 2017

Earlier this week, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports suggested that the Halos have their eye on free-agent-to-be third baseman Mike Moustakas. In his piece he said,

Speaking of the Angels, some rival executives see them as a potential landing spot for Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas, who is eligible for free agency at the end of the season.
Angels third baseman Yunel Escobar also is a potential free agent, and the remaining $8.5 million on Luis Valbuena’s contract after this season would not necessarily preclude a run at Moustakas, who is from Chatsworth, Calif., in the San Fernando Valley.

So should the Angels really make a run at Moose? Or do should they spend their money somewhere else?

First off, Moustakas has had the stats at the major league level. Last season was cut short for Moose due to injury, but he is just a season removed from a 4.4 WAR season. He’s a great fielder at the hot corner, as he has a career Rdrs of 16. He was an All-Star in 2015 and is no doubt the best three bagger available in this upcoming free agent class. He will also be just 29 when he enters free agency, the second youngest third baseman behind Brett Lawrie. But do the Angels really need to sign a third baseman after the season.

As Rosenthal said, the Angels do already have Luis Valbuena on the roster for 2018. Valbuena is expected to play mostly first base this season, but with CJ Cron also on the roster, Valbuena can be moved to third. He is a quality player, as he has been worth at least 1.3 WAR for the past five seasons. He has also hit 20+ home runs twice in the past four years. Moustakas has only reached that plateau twice in his six year career.

Not only is Valbuena on the roster, but Jefry Marte is on it as well. Last season, Marte was a surprise success at the major league level. He led the Angels in AB/HR ratio last season, albeit he played in just 88 games. In limited action, though, Marte collected 1.5 WAR and had an oWAR of 3.6. He was decent defensively, with 0 Rdrs last season in 22 games at third. He also was an average fielder in left and at first.  If the Angels have faith in him, he could be a good, versatile, young third baseman with a few years of control left.

Next years free agent class is deep at several positions. In the outfield, Andrew McCutchen and Carlos Gonzalez highlight the class with J.D. Martinez flying under the radar as a great option. Starting pitching includes names like Yu Darvish, Marco Estrada, and Alex Cobb. It is best if the Halos spend their money elsewhere, rather than sign Moose when they have internal option at third.

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