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.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.