Mike Moustakas and the Brewers are nearing a deal that would keep the third baseman in Milwaukee for a guarantee of $10 million, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The person spoke Sunday on condition of anonymity because the agreement will be subject to a successful physical. The sides were negotiating a deal that includes a mutual option for 2020, the person said.
Talks toward a deal were first reported by The Athletic.
Moustakas’ deal would be his second in a row for one guaranteed year on the free-agent market. He rejected a $17.4 million qualifying offer from Kansas City after the 2017 season and returned to the Royals in mid-March for a one-year contract that included a guaranteed $6.5 million: a $5.5 million salary and $1 million option buyout. Moustakas earned an additional $2.2 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances, raising his total earnings in the deal to $8.7 million.
Moustakas hit .256 with eight homers and 33 RBIs in 54 games for Milwaukee, which acquired him from the last-place Royals on July 27. A 30-year-old left-handed hitter, Moustakas had a .251 average overall with 28 homers and 95 RBIs last year.
Part of the core that led the 2015 Royals to the team’s first World Series title in 30 years, Moustakas hit a franchise-record 38 home runs in 2017. After re-signing last March, he hit 20 home runs in 98 games and then was dealt to the Brewers for outfielder Brett Phillips and right-handed pitcher Jorge Lopez.
Moustakas hit .200 (8 for 40) with no homers and three RBIs in the Division Series against Colorado and the League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, striking out against Clayton Kershaw for the final out of the Brewers’ year. After the season, he joined Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun and Christian Yelich, fellow Southern Californians, to sponsor relief efforts following wildfires in the area.
“Obviously, he was a great addition to this team last year in the second half after the deadline,” Yelich said. “He’s a great player, a great clubhouse guy, and he definitely helped us on the field.”
By RONALD BLUM , Associated Press