MLB Trade Speculation: White Sox' Gavin Floyd to Royals for Mike Moustakas
According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Royals may be dangling one of their offensive starters in an effort to grab a starting pitcher.
On the surface, the Sox would appear to be the winners in a deal involving Floyd and Moustakas, basically due to the tender age of Moustakas and the fact that Floyd once again finished the season with an ERA over four.
But starting pitching comes with a much higher premium than third basemen. Therefore, despite the seeming inequity of the deal, it just could work. Mind you, the Sox may have to throw in a prospect and some cash to make this deal attractive to Kansas City but that shouldn't be a showstopper.
Floyd has a 2013 option for $9.5 million which the Sox are expected to pick up. He missed time with an elbow injury this season, but the usual red flag—decreased velocity—was not an issue for him. In fact, his average velocity was up a tick this year, so he should be good to go.
Floyd is also still relatively young and in his prime at age 29. He only has one more year of team control left, however, and that would be a factor in the Royals' decision to trade a 24-year-old third baseman for someone with only one year of team control left.
But again, starting pitching is harder to find than infielders. Meanwhile, Moustakas, a left-handed hitter, didn't have a great offensive season for KC, so the deal isn't as one-sided as it may appear at first.
Yes, he did swat 20 home runs, but he hit only .242 with an anemic on-base percentage of .296. Yet he would be an improvement over almost any other option the Sox currently have at the position and, at such a young age, still has upside.
True, the Sox could re-sign Kevin Youkilis. But at $13 million, that would be way too much to spend for a declining, aging player coming off a down year.
Unless Youkilis takes less money to sign with the Sox, it is unlikely he returns (unless Chicago picks up that option, which they will not do). The free-agent market for third baseman is thin, so he will find work elsewhere.
The only in-house option the Sox have at third base is Brent Morel, who plays strong defense but can't hit, and Orlando Hudson, who is old and better suited for middle infield.
While Moustakas has issues getting on base, he does have power and fields his position well. While defensive metrics are often questionable, his UZR of 16.8 led all MLB third sackers last season.
Floyd's poor season wasn't a mirage, however. His xFIP (4.26) was almost equal to his ERA. Still, he was a 2.0-WAR player, while Moustakas was a 3.5-WAR player, though that's largely based on his fielding ability.
The Royals need pitching and the Sox need a third baseman. Hello, newly appointed GM Rick Hahn, are you listening?
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