And so, Mike Moustakas’ tenure at Cincinnati came to an end on Thursday 23 December 2022, when the club designated him for assignment to free up roster spots for new signings, Wil Myers and Curt Casali.
The fact that Moustakas is still owed $22 million feels irrelevant now. It was a great signing, but it just didn’t work.
He signed with the Reds ahead of the 2020 season when the Cincinnati ownership’s ambition rivalled the best in the league. Remember that 2020 was also when Trevor Bauer and Nick Castellanos wore Reds jerseys.
Moustakas was fresh off a 35-homer campaign, and with Eugenio Suarez installed at third base and Joey Votto at first, the three-time All-Star was signed to play second base to create one of the most powerful infields in the game.
Ahead of the 2019 season, Moustakas had been unable to secure a suitable multi-year deal, so the one-year contract with the Brewers worked out perfectly, and the Reds agreed to a four-year, $64 million deal. As a fan, it was tremendous that Cincinnati had stepped up and paid the “moose” what he was worth.
The rest is history. Injuries claimed 200 games over the next three years with Moustakas appearing in only 184 out of a possible 384 games, and when he was on the field, the magic simply wasn’t there.
The triple-slash of .216/.300/.383 producing 81 wRC+ (-0.5 WAR) makes for sad reading, but Mike Moustakas’ Reds career should be remembered as a time when Cincinnati cared about the product that was being put out.
Article by @GavTramps
Feature image of Mike Moustakas by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images