Brewers lose free-agent target: Moose to Reds

December 2nd, 2019

MILWAUKEE -- Another of the Brewers’ free-agent targets fell off the market on Monday, when and the Cincinnati Reds reportedly struck a deal on a four-year contract.

Moustakas is the third Brewers free agent, following catcher (White Sox) and reliever (Padres), to find a four-year contract on the open market. The Brewers had interest in bringing back all three, but they could not stretch as far financially because of needs elsewhere on the roster.

Now, president of baseball operations David Stearns will have to find solutions elsewhere for third base, catcher and the bullpen. Monday was another big day of decisions for the Brewers, who faced some tough calls on arbitration-eligible players, including third baseman Travis Shaw, ahead of the 7 p.m. CT non-tender deadline.

The Brewers originally acquired Moustakas via a July 2018 trade with the Royals, then re-signed him for '19 in February on a one-year, $10 million deal after he once again didn’t find a multiyear offer to his liking in free agency. If he was disappointed, he didn’t show it. Moustakas’ .845 OPS was a career high, and his 35 home runs were second on the team to Christian Yelich’s 44.

With Eugenio Suarez at third base, the Reds apparently will play Moustakas at second. He learned that position last spring with the Brewers, who opened the season with Shaw at third. When Shaw slumped and was demoted to the Minors, Moustakas shifted back to the hot corner.