- Reds sign Moustakas to four-year deal
- Padres trade for second baseman Jurickson Profar
- Marlins trade for Villar, claim Aguilar
As it seemed early on, this MLB offseason is moving at a much quicker pace than we’ve seen in recent years as there seems to be some form of activity each and every day.
The top-tier free agents remain on the market, however, there’s been plenty of movement underneath.
Let’s recap the notable MLB transactions from the last 24 hours.
Reds Ink Moustakas to Four-Year Deal
The Cincinnati Reds didn’t waste much time in addressing a positional need as they signed free agent infielder Mike Moustakas to a four-year deal with $63M on Monday, as per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
BREAKING: Third baseman Mike Moustakas and the Cincinnati Reds are in agreement on a four-year deal, league sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 2, 2019
The 31-year-old was on the open market for the third straight season after inking one-year deals with the Royals and Brewers prior signing with the Reds this time around.
The plan is to play Moustakas at second base where he played for a portion of last season, splitting time between there and third base – his natural position.
A left-handed power bat, Moustakas has clubbed at least 28 home runs in each of the last three seasons with a career-high of 38 set in the 2017 season. The 35 he hit this past season is the second-most he’s posted a single season.
This signing makes a ton of sense for the Reds, although it could be viewed as a mild overpay.
The Reds are also addressing a position needs (second base) and an offensive need as a whole.
Cincinnati got excellent production from their pitching staff last season, both within the rotation and bullpen, but their offense struggled, ranking 22nd with a .312 wOBA and tied for 19th with a .178 ISO.
The Reds currently sit with +3300 odds to win the 2020 World Series, as per BetOnline. Given the success of their rotation, led by Sonny Gray and 2019 breakout star Luis Castillo, and their bullpen, the Reds seemingly gain increased value by adding a power bat to mash in their hitter-friendly home venue.
With the Cubs likely to undergo some form of a makeover and the Brewers not only losing Moustakas but also all-world catcher Yasmani Grandal, perhaps 2020 is the season in which the Reds can make their move in the NL Central. I love their value at the current +3300 odds.
Padres Trade for 2B Jurickson Profar
The Padres continued their busy offseason on Monday, swinging a deal with the Oakland A’s to acquire switch-hitting second baseman Jurickson Profar.
Second base was an area of need for the club after they traded youngster Luis Urias to the Brewers last week. Veteran Ian Kinsler remains, however, Profar add a power and speed element to the lineup that Kinsler no longer possesses at this stage of his career.
Profar hit just .218 with the A’s in 2019, but also hit 20 home runs and stolen nine bases as part of his 1.3 WAR. While not terrible, the Padres will look for Profar to get closer to the 2.8 mark he posted in the 2018 season with the Texas Rangers.
While Profar himself doesn’t move the needle much for the Padres’ +4000 odds to win the World Series, it’s nonetheless been a productive offseason for AJ Preller and co.
They made the aforementioned trade with the Brewers last week that netted them a starting pitcher in Zach Davies coming off a career-year as well as promising young outfielder Trent Grisham. They also added former Brewer Drew Pomeranz to their bullpen after he posted a lights-out 1.88 ERA out of the bullpen in 2019, mostly with the Brewers after they acquired him at the trade deadline.
I’ll wait and see if they add an impact starter to pair with Chris Paddack atop their rotation, however those +4000 odds are gaining value with every win-now transaction Preller makes.
Marlins Acquire Villar, Claim Aguilar
The Miami Marlins finished 40 games back in NL East in 2019, but it appears they are at least interested in improving for the 2020 season.
They made a pair of moves on Tuesday, acquiring second baseman Jonathan Villar from the Baltimore Orioles and claimed first baseman Jesus Aguilar after he was designated for assignment by the Rays.
Villar fills the hole at second base that was created when Starlin Castro was non-tendered by the club. He’s coming off a career-high 4.0 WAR season with the Orioles in which he clubbed 24 home runs and stole 40 bases, once again establishing himself as one of the game’s premier power/stolen base threats.
Aguilar struggled in 2019 after an All-Star appearance the season prior. He slashed just .236/.325/.389 with 12 homers and a -0.1 WAR while appearing in 131 games between the Brewers and Rays.
At this point, no one is going to confused the Marlins for contenders, especially in a division that’s set to once again features four teams in the Braves, Nationals, Mets and Phillies that are craving postseason berths.
The Marlins currently sport +15000 odds to win the 2020 World Series, tied with the Detroit Tigers for the second-longest odds to win it all next season. While it’s nice to see a bottom-feeding team acquiring talent in today’s rebuild-heavy MLB, I wouldn’t waste my money if I were you.