Third baseman Mike Moustakas ranks among most prominent victims of this year’s abnormal offseason, having not landed a contract three months after hitting free agency as one of the top players available. It’s unlikely Moustakas’ next deal will come courtesy of the Cardinals, according to Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, even though they’ve been in on third basemen this offseason (trade targets Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson in specific). It appears the Cards will use Jedd Gyorko and Matt Carpenter at third, per Ortiz, who adds that the team has informed Carpenter he’ll fill a super-utility role. The Cards are the second potential landing spot for Moustakas that has been downplayed in the past few days; Mets GM Sandy Alderson suggested on Thursday that a match with Moustakas didn’t seem likely for a variety of reasons.
Some more notes from around the Senior Circuit…
- With the Rockies’ control over third baseman Nolan Arenado, center fielder Charlie Blackmon and second baseman DJ LeMahieu dwindling, it’s imperative infield prospects Ryan McMahon and Brendan Rodgers and young outfielder Raimel Tapia pan out, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post observes. The Rockies have turned away trade interest in McMahon and Rodgers, Saunders reports, indicating they’re highly confident in the pair. McMahon is seemingly the more likely of the two to make an impact in 2018, as he could emerge as the Rockies’ starting first baseman. He’s also capable of playing third and second, both of which will open up soon if Arenado and LeMahieu depart within the next couple years. Rodgers is a shortstop, but with Trevor Story there, he might also be an option at the keystone. Regardless, the Rockies believe their young talent will help them withstand any potential losses in free agency. “Our job is to not worry about Charlie, Nolan or DJ. Our goal is churning out impactful, major-league players from year to year,” director of player development Zach Wilson told Saunders. “We think we have a chance to do that for a really long time.”
- The Mets will be able to place David Wright on the 60-day disabled list as soon as Feb. 14, notes Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, which could be advantageous given the glut of free agents that remain unsigned and the number of players that’ll be jettisoned from 40-man rosters throughout the league as free agents (presumably) begin to sign at some point in the coming weeks. New York can’t and won’t simply release Wright, as doing so would cancel their insurance policy on the remaining $47MM of his contract (which reportedly covers 75 percent of his salary) and because Wright continues to strive for an improbable comeback. If Wright ultimately decides he’s no longer able to continue his career, the Mets and the insurance company could work out a settlement, but that doesn’t seem likely for the current season, it seems. Wright is owed $47MM through 2020 — $20MM in 2018, $15MM in 2019 and $12MM in 2020.