White Sox should target veteran left-handed hitting third baseman who has a lot of postseason experience this upcoming offseason.
The Chicago White Sox should be pursuing many free agents this upcoming offseason to add to their young team. One of the free agents the team should heavily pursue is Mike Moustakas who is currently playing for the National League central division champion Milwaukee Brewers.
Moustakas was traded to the Brewers before the trading deadline this past summer and has been an important player for Milwaukee. Although his season totals in 2018 weren’t spectacular, he managed to end the season with a .251 batting average, 28 home runs, and 95 RBIs combined with the Royals and Brewers. He has a $15 million mutual option with a $1 million buyout. If the Brewers decline his option, he could be a free agent this offseason.
What Moustakas has over many of the upcoming free agents such as Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson is postseason experience in the World Series. Yes, Machado and Donaldson have each been on playoff teams, but Moustakas went to back-to-back World Series with Kansas City and could reach his third Fall Classic with Milwaukee.
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For a Sox team that is rebuilding and just finished its worst season of their rebuild, having a player with strong postseason experience in Moustakas would be helpful for their young players. The Sox don’t have many players currently on the roster with experience playing in the postseason. Having Moustakas around will be beneficial for a team that could be in the hunt for the playoffs in the next few years.
Another benefit to signing Moustakas for the Sox is he gives them another left-handed bat. Daniel Palka was a pleasant surprise for the Sox this past season as he provided power from the left side of the plate. However, he doesn’t have the plate discipline Moustakas has just yet. Moustakas had more than 100 strikeouts at the plate this season with 103 for the first time since 2012.
The 30-year-old third baseman has a career .307 on-base percentage. He would certainly help the Sox from striking out at the plate in record fashion next season if signed. The Sox broke the MLB single-season record for team strikeouts this past season. In 2012, Moustakas had a career-high 124 strikeouts and hasn’t come close to that total since.
Entering next season, the Sox will need someone at third base that can provide reliable defense and also perform offensively. Moustakas might not be a gold glove candidate at third base, but he will give the Sox a solid stop-gap solution until they have an internal third base prospect ready in a few years.
The Sox don’t have to add Moustakas this offseason as they could target Machado or Donaldson to play third base. However, Machado could be too expensive and Donaldson’s best days could be behind him. The best choice for the Sox to make this offseason to fill their hole at third base would be to sign Moustakas.