The Royals are back talking to Mike Moustakas about a potential return, and while nothing’s been agreed to as of yet, there seems to be some hope, sources familiar with the talks say.
The Royals have always liked Moustakas, and while they made him a second priority behind longtime Royals teammate Eric Hosmer and have expressed pessimism at times in recent weeks about getting anything done, the team at least was back in contact with their longtime third baseman, giving them hope for a possible reunion.
There may be another team or two in the mix, and that shouldn’t be a surprise as teams are coming out of the woodwork for the star free agents remaining — though some of them are likely looking for a deal.
It’s no wonder Moustakas’ own Royals team has always been fond of him. The two-time All-Star set the franchise record by hitting 38 home runs last year, but he is one of several stars who have had a rough go of it on the market to this point.
One other advantage the Royals have: They wouldn’t have to give up a draft choice to sign him since he was their player. Any other team would have to give one up.
Moustakas had an early conversation with the Angels, but they quickly moved to sign shortstop Zack Cozart to play third. Perhaps his best chance was with the Yankees, who very much liked Moustakas, but that possibility presumably ended when they acquired the very inexpensive Brandon Drury, who they also like. Today on FanRag we wrote about those earlier possibilities.
Moustakas was talking about a short-term deal with the Yankees. If he were to sign a short one with the Royals, they would be ineligible to extend him another qualifying offer a second straight time.
The Royals have been active with late signings after Hosmer went to the Padres. Just in the last couple days, they signed Lucas Duda to replace Hosmer, and Jon Jay to replace Lorenzo Cain, who went back to his original team, the Brewers. They have youngster Cheslor Cuthbert who could play third.
But they still have their eye on Moustakas.