Link-O-Rama: Soria, Prado, Mateo, Mills, and Springsteen

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* Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star suggests that “the Royals should at least look at trading Joakim Soria.” Between contenders watching them struggle in the playoffs and non-contenders trying to cash them in for value, very few teams seem content to stick with their closer these days.
* General manager Frank Wren indicated yesterday that Martin Prado will be the Braves’ starting second baseman next season, so expect plenty of Kelly Johnson trade rumors this winter.
* Jorge Arangure of ESPN.com “hears” that Wagner Mateo may be close to signing with the Giants after the 16-year-old from the Dominican Republic had his $3.1 milllion deal with the Cardinals voided over health issues.
* Red Sox bench coach Brad Mills was brought in for a second interview with the Astros and appears to be a finalist for their managerial opening.
* Joe Torre is now free to follow Bruce Springsteen around the country.

Four teams are in on Mike Moustakas

Mike Moustakas
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Free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas is drawing interest from at least four clubs, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported Friday. The Brewers are the presumed frontrunners to land the infielder, but Heyman adds that the Angels may take the inside edge as Moustakas hails from the San Fernando Valley and has invested in charity efforts in California over the last year. The Phillies and Padres, on the other hand, have been involved to a lesser degree as they’re both thought to be in hot pursuit of fellow free agent third baseman/shortstop Manny Machado, though their interest in the veteran Moustakas could ramp right back up should they lose out on Machado in the weeks to come.

Moustakas, 30, declined a $15 million mutual option with the Brewers at the end of the 2018 season, and like many others left on the market, has yet to find a landing spot in advance of spring training. While he’s several years removed from his last All-Star performance, he ran a decent campaign with the Royals and Brewers last year, slashing a combined .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs, a .774 OPS, and 2.4 fWAR across 635 plate appearances.

He certainly appears to be a fit in Anaheim, where he could supplant Zack Cozart at the hot corner and balance out the Angels’ right-heavy lineup alongside Kole Calhoun, Justin Bour, and Tommy La Stella. Even if the Angels have serious interest in the third baseman, however, they’re likely to wait and see what kind of contract Machado (and the as-yet unsigned Bryce Harper) fetches before extending any serious offers of their own. They’re far from the only club to use the four-time All-Star as a litmus test this offseason, which has only fueled a growing unrest among MLB players who believe that more serious action — such as a midseason walk-out or a league-wide strike — will need to be taken over the next few months.