The Braves may have limped a bit into the All-Star break, but the first half overall has been a resounding success for the team. They are currently just a half a game behind the Phillies for first place in the NL East and are in the thick of the Wild Car race as well. For a team that is half way through the hardest month on their schedule, it is a good place to be.
So good, in fact, that the Braves are well-positioned to be buyers at the trade deadline this year. While their preference certainly appears to be that they will want players with years of team control beyond this year with a focus on upgrading their pitching staff, the team appears to be willing to upgrade their roster this year at several positions assuming the price is right.
It appears that one such target continues to be the Royals’ Mike Moustakas.
The #RedSox and #Braves are both interested in Mike Moustakas as a trade deadline acquisition, sources say. The #Yankees have already been mentioned as a potential landing spot. There's enough of a market for Moose that it's more likely than not the Royals deal him this month.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 15, 2018
Moustakas certainly has some name recognition and upside, but his production of late has been less than inspiring. While he has totaled 19 home runs through the first half of the season, he has also batting under .200 over the last couple of months. On one hand, you have a guy that is really struggling and may not be an actual upgrade over Johan Camargo at third base and on the other you have a guy that may not actually cost much in prospect capital to bring in who has some real upside. It isn’t surprising to see the Braves at least kicking the tires on Moustakas, but it would be surprising to see them willing to offer up real assets for this services given that he is only guaranteed through the end of this season (he has a mutual option for $15 million for 2019 in his contract).
In 2018, Moustakas is batting .250/.306/.469 while playing decent, if unexciting, defense at third base.