Rockies Sign Mike Moustakas

Mike Moustakas
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The Colorado Rockies signed Mike Moustakas to a minor league contract this past weekend. He became a free agent after he was released by the Cincinnati Reds in January. The deal was first reported by MLB.com’s Thomas Harding on Twitter.

Provides an Option

Moustakas provides an option in the Rockies’ infield after Gold Glove second baseman Brendan Rodgers dislocated his shoulder in a Cactus League game. He is expected to miss the entire 2023 season. Though Moustakas has played 80 games at second base in his career, he is seen more as a third baseman.

The Rockies will likely move Ryan McMahon, who was moved to third base full-time in 2021, back to second. McMahon played at second earlier in his career. Moustakas could see platoon time with infielder Elehuris Montero, who appeared in 53 games last season, or with Nolan Jones, whom the team traded for in November.

Now Healthy

Mike Moustakas says he is healthy now, which has to be music to the Rockies’ ears. Injuries over the past few seasons have limited his play on the field. He played in 140 combined games over the last two seasons, while dealing with an array of body injuries, including a calf strain that cost him the final six weeks of the 2022 season.

Moustakas spent the early part of the offseason taking time to rehab his lower body. He reports that he’s healthy and ready to go. Though early in spring training, players have mentioned he looks lighter and healthier. That should help him as he tries to win a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Veteran Leadership

The three-time All Star is an established veteran and provides experience and leadership on the field. With his World Series championship and multi-team playoff experience, the Rockies also expect him to be a clubhouse leader. Former players have mentioned he doesn’t get enough credit for being a fantastic teammate. He’s all about the team and knows how to bring players together, and keep them relaxed.

He also provides a proven left-handed bat with power potential. Prior to his injuries, he was a very good hitter. Between 2015 and 2020, he hit .262 with 138 home runs. He could see time as the Rockies’ designated hitter. He can also play first base.

Low-Risk Move

The Colorado Rockies signing of Mike Moustakas presents a low-risk move for them. The Reds are picking up the $22 million remaining on the four-year, $64 million deal he signed in 2019. This means the Rockies need to only pay him the league minimum salary if he makes the team.

Another plus for the signing is trade potential. If Moustakas makes the team and plays well, he certainly could be a potential trade player for a contending playoff team, should the Rockies be out of the running. The team could get some players who will help them out in the future as they continue to rebuild through their farm system. Moustakas’ experience and leadership would be a real asset.

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James Marshall

James Marshall

Jim Marshall has lived in Phoenix, AZ for 50 years. He is an avid baseball fan, but enjoys all of Arizona's local sports teams, including Diamondbacks, Suns, Cardinals and Coyotes. In addition to the four major sports, he closely follows the Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers and Arizona State Sun Devils. Jim's passion for baseball continues beyond the field as he is an avid collector of baseball memorabilia. His favorite athlete of all time is Baseball Hall of Fame member Harmon Killebrew. In addition to watching, reading and talking about sports, he takes time to travel and appreciate the great state of Arizona with his lovely wife, Patti.

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