By now his friends are all working, the ones he struggled and laughed with, failed and won with. Many of them are here, at Royals camp, where Mike Moustakas spent his last 10 springs. They miss him. "He'll always be part of what we did," general manager Dayton Moore said. Others are in new places. Eric Hosmer is with the Padres, Lorenzo Cain with the Brewers, Jason Vargas with the Mets. This is how it goes, the rhythm of baseball, the story of young players succeeding in the big leagues and then signing for generational wealth in free agency. This is how it was supposed to go for Moustakas, too. He did everything right. Learned the game. Respected his teammates. Accepted responsibility. When he was failing, he took his demotion like a man, came back up and helped win the World Series. When it was time for his contract year, he hit more home runs than any player in Royals history. He's 29. Not young anymore, but also not yet old. In a normal year, one evaluator guessed, that would be good for a contract worth four years and $65 million or so. A rival executive figured five years and $75 million would be possible. When the offseason started, the Royals planned on receiving draft compensation tied to a contract worth at least $50 million. Spring training started three weeks ago. The Royals just played their ninth game. Moustakas is 360 miles west, taking grounders and swings in a simulated spring training at the Newport Beach facility of agent Scott Boras, who is not ruling out the possibility of Moustakas sitting out regular-season games and re-entering the market next winter. "It's like the eye of a hurricane," said Boras, who's represented Moustakas since he was drafted 11 years ago. "You're surrounded by talent, and it's quiet inside." Much has been made of baseball's unusual offseason. Hosmer and J.D. Martinez are among those who signed big contracts after camps opened, the types of deals that have typically been done in December. Jake Arrieta, Carlos Gonzalez and Greg Holland are among the stars who remain unsigned.
The fickle worth and uncertain future of Mike Moustakas
Kansas City Star | Mar 7