March 23, 2018 — Excelsior Springs High School assistant baseball coach Seth Morton had a handful of comments on Mike Moustakas, who recently agreed to a one-year contract with the Royals. The contract guarantees Moustakas $6.5 million, and maxes out at $22.7 million. Moustakas set a franchise record with 38 home runs last year, but wasn’t signed this winter during free agency.
“I think the deal was made because he (Moustakas) was testing the free agency after opting out of his old contract and then, later on, the free agency ended up not working out for him. He’s coming back to a team that he has already played for but coming back on lesser paying contract,” commented Morton.
The one-year contract potentially allows Moustakas to give free agency another shot next winter, when he wouldn’t be attached to draft pick compensation. Since Moustakas rejected the qualifying offer this off-season, and is qualified to receive one in the future, teams are more open to spending.
“It’s certainly better than remaining unemployed,” said Morton. “I feel like owners are being rebellious towards MLB because of new rules on salary caps, and there were a lot of good free agents that got big contracts, and some that didn’t. I feel like Moustakas will bring the 2017 stats back, because he only signed a one-year contract, which means he will be a free agent again next year.”
Moustakas sent the franchise home run record during his 2017 season with the Royals.
“His stats were higher than before,” Morton explained. “And I think that is because he knew this winter he was a free agent and he needed to emphasize on what he can do. Hopefully, he brings that back to the Royals, with this possibly being his last year with the Royals.”