Third baseman Mike Moustakas “could see himself” staying with the Brewers, Jon Heyman of Fancred writes. “I like it here,” Moustakas said. “The team is together. The coaching staff is together. The training staff is together. We have a good time here every single day.” Moustakas, who joined Milwaukee via trade with Kansas City in July, has been a key part of the Brewers’ two playoff wins so far. He also offered respectable production between the two teams during the regular season, combining for 2.5 rWAR/2.4 fWAR with a .251/.315/.439 line (105 wRC+) and 28 home runs in 635 plate appearances. But it’s unknown whether that’ll lead the Brewers and Moustakas to exercise their $15MM mutual option for 2019; if not, it’s anyone’s guess whether the 30-year-old would garner much of a raise over his 2018 salary on the open market. Moustakas made his first trip to free agency last offseason, a frustrating winter in which he sat without a team until March. The lack of interest in Moustakas enabled the Royals to re-sign him for a surprisingly low sum ($6.5MM guaranteed and, as Heyman points out, $8.7MM with incentives). Looking ahead to 2019, the Brewers will have a full infield under control – which could make Moustakas’ stay with them a short one – though a few of those players (e.g., Eric Thames, Jonathan Schoop and Hernan Perez) logged uninspiring production during the regular campaign.
More on Milwaukee and the club it dethroned en route to a National League Central title:
- The Brewers haven’t received any contributions this year from injured right-hander Jimmy Nelson – nor will they as they continue a potential march to a World Series – but that figures to change in 2019. Nelson, down since September 2017 with shoulder issues, has completed his “formal rehab,” general manager David Stearns said Saturday (via Adam McCalvy of MLB.com). “He has returned to pitching. That is a great thing to say.” Nelson pitched like a front-line starter a year ago, notching a 3.49 ERA/3.05 FIP in 175 1/3 innings, and his absence has made the Brewers’ success this season all the more impressive. The 29-year-old will enter his penultimate season of arbitration control in 2019.
- After Colorado eliminated Chicago from the playoffs Tuesday, Cubs reliever Jesse Chavez reportedly declared to teammates, “If I’m not wearing this [uniform] next year, I’m done.” Whether the pending free agent, 35, still feels that way is unclear, but he did tell Patrick Mooney of The Athletic (subscription required), “I’m open-minded to anything,” with regard to a potential role on next year’s Cubs. Joining the Cubs, who acquired him from the Rangers in July, enabled Chavez to participate in the playoffs for the first time in his long career, Mooney notes. “This has been one of my favorite places to come since I broke into the league,” Chavez said to Mooney, and he went on to laud the Cubs’ “atmosphere, the history, the culture, the clubhouse, the stands, the fans.” That’s important, Mooney opines, writing that “Wrigley Field is not for everyone and you have to recognize who can handle it.” Chavez proved capable of handling it in 2018, as the right-hander recorded a microscopic 1.15 ERA with tremendous strikeout and walk rates (9.7 K/9, 1.2 BB/9) in 39 innings after Chicago picked him up.