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Brewers acquire Mike Moustakas from the Royals

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The Milwaukee Brewers acquired third baseman Mike Moustakas from the Kansas City Royals last night. In exchange the Brewers sent outfielder Brett Phillips and pitcher Jorge Lopez to the Royals.

Moustakas, 29, is hitting .249/.309/.468 with 20 homers and 62 RBI. He’ll play his customary third base while current third baseman Travis Shaw shifts to second. After last night’s game against the Giants, Shaw said he’s fine with that, as the Brewers asked him several weeks ago about the possibility of doing it if an offensive upgrade could be found. Which, OK, but Shaw has never done that, so I guess we’ll see how that works.

Phillips, 24, has had 24 plate appearances for the Brewers this year and has hit .240/.331/.411 in 299 plate appearances at Triple-A. He was once billed as a moderately high prospect, even if the luster has worn off a bit as he’s struggled to adjust to major league pitching. Lopez, once a top-100 prospect in all of baseball, has struggled considerably in the past couple of years, with cups of coffee in the bigs but too many walks in both the majors and the minors. Basically, each of these guys have some high potential payoff but have fallen in the estimates of most observers as they’ve aged.

Ultimately, though, Moustakas is a rental and you pay rental prices for such a beast. He has an option for next year, but it’s unlikely that the Brewers will exercise it. For now he joins former teammates Joakim Soria and Lorenzo Cain in an effort to help the Brewers make up the 1.5 games by which they trail the Cubs.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.