Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas is back in Kansas City after a prolonged period of free agency and an agreement on a contract that looks incredibly club-friendly. It could be as little as one year and $6.5 million. Coming off a season in which he set a Royals record with 38 home runs, no one in the world would have predicted he'd get such a deal heading into free agency. 

It's possible Moustakas turned down a significantly higher deal in free agency. Of course, we already know he turned down the qualifying offer, which was a $17.4 million deal for 2018. Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star further reported that Moustakas had a three-year, $45 million deal from the Angels earlier this offseason. 

Moustakas's agent, Scott Boras, denied the report. 

"There was never a multi-year contract offer made to Mike Moustakas by the Angels or any other major-league team," Boras said Friday (

I'm not going to call anyone a liar here, but the report makes sense. The Angels signed shortstop Zack Cozart to play third base on December 15 to a three-year, $38 million deal. Cozart is changing positions and is roughly three years older than Moustakas, so giving him $7 million less over the course of three years makes sense as a fallback option for the Angels, who were one of the few teams beefing up this winter instead of either offloading or just standing pat. 

If this report is true, the Royals deal had to ultimately be a bitter pill for Moustakas and Boras to swallow -- at least as much as making $6.5 million in a year to play baseball can be bitter.