The Cincinnati Reds have agreed to a deal with free-agent infielder Mike Moustakas, the club announced on Thursday. The deal is a four-year contract and Moustakas will be guaranteed $64 million through the 2023 season. The Reds note that it is the largest free-agent contract in club history. Moustakas will wear No. 9 with Cincinnati.
While Moustakas hasn't showed any signs of a decline, the four-year deal does exceed expectations for his third go-around in free agency. The Reds appear to be confident that Moustakas, a left-handed hitter, can sustain consistent power for the next four seasons.
Moustakas, an All-Star last season for the Milwaukee Brewers, secured a long-term deal after signing back-to-back one-year deals with the Royals and Brewers in free agency. He signed a one-year deal worth $5.5 million in 2018 and a one-year, $10 million deal in 2019.
During the 2019 season, Moustakas batted .254/.329/.516 with a career-high .845 OPS, 35 home runs, 87 RBI, and a career-high 53 walks in 143 games. Over his last three seasons, he's played in 443 games, finishing with a slash line of .259/.319/.498 with an OPS+ of 113.
Moustakas showed off his infield versatility after starting 40 games at second base last season. Overall, he played 47 games at second and 105 at third. Prior to the 2019 season, Moustakas had never played a game at second throughout his nine-year long MLB career with third base as his natural position. According to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, Moustakas, 31, will play second base for Cincinnati. Eugenio Suarez will stay at third base with Freddy Galvis at shortstop.
The Reds haven't reached the postseason since 2013, but they've made moves in an attempt to become a contender. Cincinnati called up top prospect Nick Senzel at the beginning of May last season and traded for Trevor Bauer at the July 31 deadline among other things in hopes of speeding up their rebuild and competing with the Cubs, Cardinals and Brewers in the NL Central. In 2020, while a lot of things need to go right for the Reds, it's certainly possible that there is a path to contention.