Figuring they’ve had so much luck with Eric Hosmer, the Royals have decided to try another top prospect, calling up Mike Moustakas after Thursday’s game.
There are a couple of differences here, though. With a .287/.347/.498 line, 10 homers and 44 RBI, Moustakas wasn’t tearing up PCL competition quite like Hosmer did before his promotion. Plus, Moustakas isn’t likely to be an asset defensively and may move to the outfield at some point.
That’s not to say that Moustakas isn’t an excellent prospect. He hit .322/.369/.630 with 36 homers and 124 RBI between Double- and Triple-A last year, and he’s just 22 years old now. He doesn’t quite have Hosmer’s ceiling, but few do.
The Royals wouldn’t call up Moustakas for a bit role, so expect him to supplant Wilson Betemit as the team’s everyday third baseman. What that means for Betemit in the short-term is hard to say. He’s slumped of late, but he’s still been one of the Royals’ better players this year with his .289/.348/.411 line and 23 RBI. Also, turning him into a bench player would wreck his trade value.
A trade does seem assured. Hopefully, it comes soon. There are plenty of NL teams in need of help at third base, and Betemit has earned his opportunity to play regularly.
Update (8:51 PM EST): The deal is in place, according to Heyman.
Update (8:27 PM EST): Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals made an “over-the-top offer” to Fowler to ensure he’d sign.
Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports reports that free agent outfielder will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday. Presumably, that means that Fowler and the Cardinals have gotten pretty far along in negotiations.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports recently reported that Fowler was looking for $18 million per year. The Blue Jays reportedly made an offer to Fowler in the four-year, $16 million range several days ago. The Cardinals’ offer to Fowler, if there is indeed one, is likely somewhere between the two figures.
Fowler, 30, is coming off of a fantastic year in which he helped the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. During the regular season, he hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 551 plate appearances.
Fowler rejected the Cubs’ $17.2 million qualifying offer last month. While the QO compensation negatively affected Fowler’s experience in free agency last offseason — he didn’t sign until late February with the Cubs — his strong season is expected to make QO compensation much less of an issue.
Tommy Stokke of RanRag Sports reports that the Braves and Rangers agreed to a trade. According to ESPN’s Keith Law, the Braves will receive pitcher Luke Jackson from the Rangers in exchange for pitchers Tyrell Jenkins and Brady Feigl.
Jackson, 25, is under team control through 2022. He has logged only 18 innings in the majors, yielding 14 runs on 22 hits and eight walks with three strikeouts. While Jackson has struggled with control, the Braves likely see upside because his fastball sits in the mid- to high-90’s.
Jenkins, 24, is also under team control through 2022. The right-hander made eight starts and six relief appearances in his first major league season in 2016, putting up a 5.88 ERA with a 26/33 K/BB ratio over 52 innings.
Feigl, 25, was an undrafted free agent and was signed by the Braves in 2013. The lefty underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015 and briefly rehabbed in rookie ball this past season.