While much of the focus of trade deadline rumors involving the Colorado Rockies revolve around pitching, could the Rockies be looking to add another bat to the lineup as well?
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, there are six National League teams who are in discussions with the Kansas City Royals to acquire Mike Moustakas before the July 31 deadline. Additionally, three American League teams are supposedly talking to the Royals about the slugger. That makes nine teams reportedly vying for Moustakas, but none of the teams were identified by Nightengale in the tweet.
Could the Colorado Rockies be one of those teams? Sure, on the surface it seems that Moustakas might not be a fit since his natural position is third base and the Rockies already have an All-Star at that position in Nolan Arenado. However, Moustakas has played four games at first base this season as well, logging 35 innings at the position.
Yes, Moustakas has little experience at first base, so why would the Rockies be potentially involved in this deal? Let’s remember that Ian Desmond had played zero innings at first base in his career before Colorado signed him to a big contract before the 2017 season, so it’s not unheard of for the Rockies to think outside the proverbial box.
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Desmond has played much better in the last two months of the season than he has in the first two months, making his bat more valuable to the Rockies lineup. Plus, his previous experience in the outfield might allow the Rockies to move him to a corner outfield position.
Moustakas represents a power-hitting left-handed batter, something that could add even more pop to the Colorado lineup. He enters Wednesday’s play with 20 home runs and 61 RBI with a .309 batting average and 111 OPS+.
The 29-year-old hit a career-best 38 homers last season but didn’t re-sign with the Royals until spring training had already started. He signed a one-year, $6.5 million contract for 2018 with a mutual option worth $15 million for 2019. However, the Royals seem very interested in dealing him before the trade deadline.
There will be plenty of competition to land Moustakas and it might seem like a stretch for the Rockies to bring him to Coors Field. However, if a deal could get done, the player known as “Moose” could potentially make a big impact for a Colorado team hungry to return to Rocktober once again.