KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Moose will return to Kauffman Stadium for 2018.
Third baseman Mike Moustakas signed a one-year deal with the Kansas City Royals with a mutual second-year option, per reports Thursday night. The contract guarantees Moustakas $6.5 million with a $15 million mutual option for 2019 along with a $1 million buyout.
Moustakas, 29, became the franchise single-season leader in homeruns last year, launching 38 dingers to break the previous record of 36 set by Steve Balboni in 1985. The two-time All-Star (2015, 2017) is coming off a season where he hit a .272 average, 85 RBIs, 38 homers and slugged .521 for the Royals.
In a slow-burning offseason for Major League Baseball, Moustakas finds a home back at “The K” after teammates Eric Hosmer, first baseman, and Lorenzo Cain, center fielder, departed to new teams. Hosmer signed an eight-year, $144 million contract with the San Diego Padres — the largest contract in franchise history — in mid-February. Cain signed a five-year, $80 million contract with his former team, the Milwaukee Brewers, in January.
The Royals did keep one other player from the group of four that debuted for KC in 2011 and played major roles in the team’s back-to-back World Series runs in 2014 and 2015. The team re-signed 31-year-old shortstop Alcides Escobar to a one-year $2.5 million contract in January. All four players — Moustakas, Hosmer, Cain and Escobar — hit free agency at the end of the 2017 season.
Moustakas figured to a sign multi-year deal with a team this offseason, but a remarkably slow free agency period that has now crept into Spring Training has seen the likes of Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn and former Royal closer Greg Holland still without a home. Royals general manager Dayton Moore was quoted weeks before the signing that the team is not looking to sign any multi-year deals this offseason as the team looks to rebuild, according to royalsreview.com