The Royals on Wednesday announced that they’ve agreed to a two-year contract with free-agent first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss. The ACES client will reportedly be guaranteed a total of $12MM, which comes in the form of $3.75MM in 2017, $7.25MM in 2018 and a $1MM buyout on a $10MM mutual option for the 2019 campaign.
[Related: Updated Royals Depth Chart]
Beyond the money that is guaranteed on his contract, Moss can reportedly earn up to $500K per season based on plate appearances. He’ll take home $50K for reaching 275 plate appearances and an additional $50K for every 25 plate appearances from that point forth, up to 500 PAs. Those incentives apply to each year of the deal.
Signing with the Royals will keep the 33-year-old Moss in Missouri, where he played the past season-plus as a member of the Cardinals. (Moss was traded from Cleveland to St. Louis in a trade that sent southpaw Rob Kaminsky to Cleveland.) In 2016, his only full campaign in St. Louis, the powerful Moss slugged 28 home runs in 464 plate appearances and posted a .259 ISO. The latter figure ranked 13th among major leaguers with at least 450 PAs, though Moss didn’t register a particularly impress overall line (.225/.300/.484) and hit just .191/.248/.392 after the All-Star break. Moss’ second-half woes offset the red-hot .256/.344/.566 triple slash he logged in the first three-plus months of the year.
Moss also had a relatively mediocre 2015, which was thanks in part to a hip injury, but the lefty-swinger is a well-regarded clubhouse presence and a four-time 20-home run hitter who should at least give the Royals a capable bat against right-handed pitchers. Plus, Moss has typically been usable against southpaws, although they stymied him last season.
Defensively, Moss spent the lion’s share of 2016 in the corner outfield and also saw plenty of time at first base – areas where the Royals already possess everyday-caliber players. Eric Hosmer is set to occupy first again in 2017, while Alex Gordon and offseason acquisition Jorge Soler are the team’s top options in the corner outfield. Moss will likely slot in primarily at designated hitter if the deal goes through, then, as the Royals have been lacking there since Kendrys Morales signed with the Blue Jays in November.
Kansas City will be the seventh major league team for Moss, who debuted with the Red Sox in 2007 and then broke out with the Athletics in 2012. Nearly all of Moss’ big league homers (123 of 138) have come since then.
ESPN’s Jim Bowden first reported that Kansas City was nearing an agreement with Moss. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported the agreement and the terms (Twitter link). Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reported that the deal was heavily backloaded. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports provided the exact financial breakdown (via Twitter). MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reported the value of the 2019 option and the incentives structure (Twitter links).
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
I won’t miss him on the Cards
I will, he was a soild player who could crush the ball. Great pick up KC!
Short move across the state for him.
Depends on the money, but a good get. Will slot into the DH vs righties at the least
He is a good pickup for the Royals. The DH option in the AL opens up all kinds of possibilities for players vs. the NL. The 17.2 million QO for Moss would have been way overpaying for him. Nothing personal against him, but he just signed 2 years for alot less. I think and hope it works out well for all parties involved. The Cards & Royals play each other a couple different series each season usually. He probably will hit a few home runs against the Cards. At least he probably hopes he does lol.
Good lowkey pickup for the Royals. He’ll hit you some home runs and he’s a great clubhouse presence for a team that’s trying to give a World Series run one last go. And, if they’re out of it by July, he can likely fetch you a decent return.
One last? You’re talking like they’re all in their last 30’s or something
multiple pending free agents.
For a low market team, its nearly impossibly for KC to sign many of the high level pending free agents on their team. Their window is closing and closing really quickly. Has nothing to do with age.
Royals Owner David Glass has an estimated net worth of $1.8 Billion… But we’re supposed to believe they cant sign their free agents?
Yep, there’s no chance they keep al of Hosmer, Cain, Moustakas, and Escobar.
Decent way to replace Morales for probably a lot less than he was paid.
Add on your comment SamFuldsFive
Moss is a good pick up for a team not trying to break the bank for a left handed power hitter,plus he can play the outfield too, as for morales hes limited to what position he can play but still a bit more polished on the bat then moss.
Good pickup. Now, Royals should continue to move forward especially in light of Yo’s untimely death. I’d trade Hosmer for pitching and MI help. Moss/Cuthbert will give you 80% of his production at a fraction of the cost.
if you can easily replace hosmer like that, why would a team trade pitching and MI help for him?
Unless Hosmer breaks out this year, he might be in for a bit of a rude awakening when he explores free agency.
He’s basically James Loney
I think more like Duda, but yes. Basically, personality and the eye of the ladies separate him from being an average 1B. Stats don’t lie.
They were the exact same player last season. Hosmer is extremely overhyped. He put up 3.4 WAR in 2014…and that’s IT…his career is like 3.2 because of the negative value. Maybe he needs lasic eye surgery again. He scoops well…but he has limited defensive value. Maybe he’ll put it together and have a nice late 20s prime…but 3ish WAR is his top end..and he’s only flashed that once.
Hosmer is 26 and just set a career high in home runs. He’s got plenty of time to develop and would get a long term contact easily.
Duda hits like a 1B though. Hosmer hits like 2B
Guys who play like him are having a hard time finding a gig right now. Sure…26…maybe he gets it going…but the HR alone arent THAT special if that’s gonna be his skill.
I like Hosmer and think he will have a breakout season this year…he’ll be 27, a good age for guys to step it up…he’s no monster but if he can give a team 25 HR and drive in 100 runs while playing gold glove caliber 1B, he’s worth a spot in the lineup…I’ll probably get smashed with advanced analytics on this but if it were me, I’d have no problem with him on my team
He’s not actually good at defense though, and his range has been declining.
Because he’s worth a lot more to a team with a short porch.
Does Hosmer pull the ball that much? Seems like he’s a spray hitter…gap guy. The math doesn’t like him and says outside of 2014 he’s been replacement level. A team banking on him in free agency really likes to gamble that he gets it together.
I don’t like this sign, he has a very low average, and average is what you need at Kauffman.
Average means literally nothing. OBP is what matters and Moss is fine there, especially combined with his elite power. Solid signing.
If anything, his avg/obp will go up at Kauffman
Time to replace Moose and Hosmer then…cause they arent getting it done.
Hosmer isnt good lol
He isn’t? A career .994 fielding percentage is garbage? Tied for 47th all time……Yeah, he sucks. 100 RBI’s a year? Yeah he sucks big time. Hits .280? Yeah he sucks. Just because he’s not hitting 50 bombs a year doesn’t mean he’s a bad player. Take most HR hitters and let them spend half their games at the K and their HR production will drop. I’d much rather keep Hoz then Moose although Moose has made Hoz look a lot better with his horrific arm….
Prediction: Moss will NOT hit 28 homers for the Royals in 2017.
I mean the Twins, ChiSox and somewhat the Tigers all have terrible pitching.. wouldn’t shock me if he hit 30 again
I wouldn’t put the Tigers in the same category as the Twins/ White Sox.
In what way do the tigers have terrible pitching?
I would expect the the Tigers will have the second best pitching in the Central. Their bullpen was better as the year went on and would expect them to be even better this year. The back end of their bullpen is kind of in the sleeper category. At some point during the year I think we will see Rondon in the 8th inning and Joe Jimenez closing games.
They only have 3 good SP in their org (Verlander, Fulmer, Norris) and they’re bullpen is bad… like really bad
No its not. K-rod, Rondon, Alex Wilson, Justin Wilson. Its not elite by any means but its an average pen. In no way is it really bad.
But its much more likely that that group is bad than excellent. Bullpens can swing either way, but tend to lean one way or another.
Zimmerman is good too; he’s just got to stay healthy
Matt Boyd showed promise and they still have Jordan Zimmerman.
Despite trading Chris Sale, the White Sox pitching staff trumps the Twins, Tigers and the Royals in the A.L. Central. Their rotation is still decent with the promise of becoming great in the not too distant future even with the likely and eventual trades of Jose Quintana and David Robertson. Their bullpen is above average as I post, with the same chance of becoming elite. The White Sox are loaded with arms in their system that can reach triple digits with the fastball, including heir apparent closer Zack Burdi who figures to be promoted sometime this summer.
The white sox rotation is certainly not better than the tigers.
Yeah the Tigers have a better rotation than the Sox, hands down
You can’t say that about the White Sox yet. They have a lot of potential and that is it at the moment until they actually produce results.
Yeah you’re right…I guess being on this site has seasoned me for what is on paper instead of what can happen…I hope that their young pitchers develop well, I really like what they’ve done in their rebuild so far and am hoping they can get something for Frazier and Robertson as well…wouldn’t mind having Robertson on the Dodgers to be honest, our bullpen could use some fortifying
Gomer……..Why Not? Cards don’t play in a “Homer-Friendly Park”……and definitely play a couple teams with solid pitching.
Moss has plenty of power, and he can play OF, 1B, or DH…..should get plenty of AB’s
Spent a good amount of time playing against the cubs so that has to count for something lol.
I’m surprised he got 2 years. Good for him, and I think this signing makes sense.
I think KC was willing to go 2 years at a lower AAV. We’ve seen that a lot this winter (Pearce, Joyce, Tazawa, Ziegler, Rodriguez) and I think it makes a lot of sense.
I agree. This sign will help us. Also give Hoz and LoCain a day off from time to time.
Nice player, but a step down from who he is replacing, IMO. Considering the cost and what was left out there, good pickup for KC.
hes not even a step down from Morales though
He sure is – unless he suddenly becomes the Moss of 2012-13 again which is doubtful.
And this is why jay bruce and his 1/13 will be staying put until the mets get realistic
They are pretty much going to have to give Bruce away at this point, or pay for almost all of his contract. Still way too many free agent options teams can fall back on.
Good spot for Moss. If he took less money per year to get a 2 year deal from KC, smart move. He’ll get plenty of playing time between DH and filling in at 1B and in the corners. He doesn’t have to completely replace Morales’s production since he won’t be playing against many lefty pitchers anyways.
Nice sign…I really think that Dayton Moore is a top notch GM and he seems to have a nice pulse on how to keep the Royals competing…they may have to tear it down soon but even a signing like this won’t prohibit them from adding something at the deadline for that final push if need be
Moore had better find a starter to eat 180 innings though. That rotation was meh before. Not exactly sure what they might try. I suppose Jason Hammels…be nice if it was someone reliable.
Yeah I see Hammels as a good option for a team with a need for a starter but maybe his medical aren’t checking out because for all intents and purposes he should’ve been off the market now
Good for the Royals. I was hoping the Jay’s would give Moss a deal like this and he could platoon with Upton in LF or Pearce at first. Especially if it is a backloaded deal
This sucks. He was the right fit on the cards and we needed him back to help in left and right and play some first and bench bat. Trade Adams.
Not happy with the Cards here
Eh, he didn’t have much defensive prowess and with fowler now the corners have solid defenders and batters. Grichuk is probably the weak link but (with the exception of the poor season last year) I think Pham is a good 4th, with Jose Martinez possibly 5th. They probably are counting on bader it be ready next year so aren’t sweating it a whole lot.
Although I do agree I would have preferred Moss leaps and bounds over Adams (I call Adams put-put cause I think he thinks he’s playing golf). Also would have preferred a Moss, Wong, Diaz, Carpenter infield over Carp, Wong, Diaz, Gyorko/Peralta (loath Peralta). Definitely a solid pick up by KC thou.
I love Adams…not that he’s a good player at this point by any means but I would just love if he broke out and could hit 50 HR a year, it would be fun to watch…until the playoffs then he can stop lol…I do agree that it would be nice if they could rid themselves of Jhonny Peralta though
I agree with the “not happy with the cards” statement. They need a top tier proven clean up hitter and they have the trade pieces to do something. I’ll keep my hopes up until the end of spring training.
I’d more like to see a deal for Quintana. Fangraphs did a pretty good article on it, something I had been thinking about for a long time.
The type of package suggested in that article was very unrealistic.
Not really, if you look at the main players (Hudson, Perez, Weaver) are all players that come from categories we have more depth in.
It’s going to take a top 25 spec to start, and if you don’t deal Reyes, you won’t get Q.
I’m a Cards fan, but that package wasn’t enough.
Unrealistic as in not nearly enough from the cardinals. You dont’ deal a bunch of pieces like that for Quintana.
The Royals have made some smart free agent acquisitions the last few years. I’m not sure about this one.
They will have Hosmer at 1st Moss at DH and an outfield of Gordon Cain and Solar and they still have O’Brian and Cuthbert on the bench to fill in as well.
I would’ve prefered Chase Utley at DH to rotate with Merrifield and Colon but I guess this will do
Having seen Utley last season I can tell you he still has circus ability with the glove but the bat is absolutely not DH suitable.
He might fit in a team that starts a mediocre right-handed 2B or has a vacancy and a good right handed utility man.
Idk, if you look at his numbers from the first couple months they are rock solid, then they really drop off. Maybe the extra rest he would get playing a dh role would help keep him fresh for most of a season.
Yeah Utley at DH would have destroyed any value in him. He’s good at playing defensively but the bat is not his strong suit. His best destination was a reunion with the dodgers but that’s been squandered.
So we’re looking at something like this?:
I could be wrong – but I don’t think Mondesi will be the opening day starter at 2B. He was overmatched at the plate last year and I think the Royals would like him to spend another season at AAA.
Nice pickup and at a decent AAV.
With peter o’brien, whit merrifield, and cuthbert all in the fold as potential right hand platoon partners for moss, a need for a starter in the wake of Ventura’s passing, the Sox question mark at third and lack of depth there as well as first, how about a deal centered on Pomeranz, Cuthbert or merrifield
Peter O’Brien does not draw rave reviews for his defense at catcher or in the outfield
I don’t guess the defensive raveness matters if you are a platoon DH.
Defensive raveness is key
This is a good deal for the Royals. You know this guy can hit 25-35 home runs per season.
Not sure if either the Rangers or Astros have enough pitching to win in the playoffs. They won’t be better than the Sox, Indians or 4 teams in the National league. Quintana will give them a fighting chance!