Only one trade happened today, July 28, but let’s take a closer look at it
Brewers acquire 3B Mike Moustakas
The Brewers have acquired slugging third baseman Mike Moustakas from the Brewers in exchange for outfielder Brett Phillips and pitcher Jorge Lopez. Moustakas, 29, is hitting .249/.309/.468 with 20 home runs this season. Phillips, 24, is hitting .182/.250/.273 in 22 at-bats in the MLB this season and .240/.331/.411 in Triple-A. He was once known as one of the Brewers’ top prospects before graduating from prospect stature. Lopez, 25, was once a top 100 prospect but is no longer considered one as he’s struggled in his pro career. He has a 2.75 ERA in 19.2 innings in the MLB but also has a 1.48 WHIP and 4.28 FIP. In Triple-A, he has an atrocious 5.65 ERA. His peripherals are more concerning, as he has a career 5.4 BB/9 and just a career 7.1 K/9.
Brewers: Milwaukee has struggled to get any sort of production from second base this season, as Brewers second baseman is hitting .162/.227/.259 this season with just 16 combined home runs. Therefore, Moustakas undoubtedly will upgrade the Brewers offense. Defense is another story, however. With Moustakas heading to Milwaukee, the Brewers will shift third baseman Travis Shaw to second base. Shaw has been great defensively with 9 drs at third, but that doesn’t mean that’ll translate to second base. At 6’4” 230 pounds with average range at best, Shaw doesn’t fit the mold of a second baseman. He also has admitted that he “hasn’t played second base since T-ball”, so he has zero experience there. He’s taken grounders at second, but that’s completely different than having game experience, especially when it comes to cut offs, double play turns and covering second base on stolen base attempts. They gave up a steep price to get Moustakas, so it’s strange they didn’t just use that package to get an actual second baseman such as Brian Dozier or Eduardo Escobar. grade: D+
Royals: On June 16, Ken Rosenthal reported that Moustakas was “unlikely to bring back much in a deal”. That was due to his prolonged slump, struggle to hit lefties, and the fact he’s due $3 million after the trade deadline. Therefore, getting two MLB ready peaces in Phillips and Lopez is impressive. Lopez has had some bumps in the road, but he can still be a capable middle of the rotation starter if developed properly. As for Phillips, he can immediately be the Royals center fielder His 8 drs from last season shows that he is already an above average fielder in center. His contact hitting ability and on base skills profile him as a future lead off hitter for the Royals, which alone would be a great return for a rental in Moustakas with many red flags. Philips at the very least will be a big piece of the Royals future, even if Lopez doesn’t pan out. Grade: A