It’s unlikely that the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates make the playoffs in 2017, but that shouldn’t stop either team from becoming aggressive this trade season. Both teams could use another building block for the future. This is why they should swap all-star caliber players in third baseman, Mike Moustakas, and pitcher, Gerrit Cole.
Why does this make sense?
Kansas City isn’t acting as though they’ll re-sign Moustakas. So, they need to deal him this trade season or risk losing him for nothing, except maybe a compensatory draft pick.
Their first baseman, Eric Hosmer is set to become a free agent after this season as well and he’s 27 years old (a year younger than Moustakas.)
As for Cole, he is controllable for the next few years and his price tag is really small ($3.75 million this season). He’s scheduled to hit arbitration the next two offseasons and is scheduled to be a free agent in 2020.
Cole is 7-7 with a 4.43 ERA in 107.2 innings pitched this season.
The Pirates could use a power bat in the middle of their lineup that they can build around. They also need a third baseman for the future and Moustakas fits the bill.
Moustakas has a .275 batting average, 25 homers, and 54 RBIs on the year.
Now the big question would be how much would Moustakas be looking for when looking to negotiate a contract.
Because he’s a Scott Boras client, I can’t say he’s going to settle for a mid-level deal. The man they call “Moose” is going to get his money, but the Bucs aren’t very aggressive in free agency, so it’s time for a change. Teams can’t expect to win if they don’t make some major changes every now and again.
They don’t have a huge payroll as it is and their core group of players aren’t getting paid a ton.
Why shouldn’t teams like the Royals and Bucs be aggressive during this trade season? Both teams have been leapfrogged in their respective divisions. The Milwaukee Brewers jumped past the Pirates and the Minnesota Twins had a better first half of 2017 than the Royals.
If these teams execute this particular trade, the rest of the Major League teams will be put on notice. It would represent a potential change in philosophy as well as a new desire to win in an era that’s full of champions that have won with a lot of young talent.