Giants: Three options to replace Evan Longoria if traded
By Jeff Young
Free agency has not been kind to Mike Moustakas.
He did not receive the long-term contract he expected when he tested free agency for the first time after the 2017 season, and he was forced to settle for a short-term deal again last offseason.
Despite that, the left-handed hitter has proven to be a competent bat over the years. Since 2015, Moustakas has posted a .264/.325/.491 line for a 114 OPS+ across 2,544 plate appearances. For context, only Brandon Belt (118 OPS+) and Buster Posey (115 OPS+) have posted an OPS+ north of that 114 mark since 2015.
In 2019, Mike Yastrzemski (123 OPS+) was the only Giant to eclipse the 114 OPS+ threshold with a minimum of 300 plate appearances.
All this suggests that the Giants do not have enough quality bats capable of producing at an above-average level. Before acquiring Longoria, the Giants were seen as a speculative fit for Moustakas while they looked for an upgrade at third base.
Moustakas is not a free agent yet. He has an $11 million mutual option with the Milwaukee Brewers that will need to be sorted out. He will likely decline his side of the option thereby becoming a free agent.
In 2019, Moustakas earned his way onto the National League All-Star team as he swatted 35 home runs, drove in 87, and produced an .845 OPS. At only 31 years old, he could look to cash in on free agency one last time.
At the end of the season, Farhan Zaidi stated that he would look to add more power to the lineup, and Moustakas possesses the type of power that would play at any ballpark.
In addition to this, the power-hitting third baseman brings some nice versatility after adding second base to his resume with 47 games at the position in 2019. It stands to reason that he could also handle first base if needed, despite playing just four games there.
There should be plenty of interested suitors for Moustakas, but he certainly will not command as lucrative a contract as either Rendon or Donaldson. That might be an opportunity for the Giants to target an affordable alternative while much of the league will be focused on Rendon or Donaldson.