Mike Moustakas plays a shoddy third base and that is the only place he plays which will not help the St. Louis Cardinals.
Mike Moustakas, as mentioned briefly above, does not play good defense. Moustakas posted the following slash line in defensive metrics -8/-3.6/-.7 in defensive runs saved/UZR150/dWAR. Compare that to Gyorko who posted a 16/3.8/1.9 defensive slash.
Additionally, Moustakas plays exactly one defensive position – third base. Gyorko, on the other hand, plays first, second, short, third and can play the outfield in a pinch.
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Due to the emergence of Jose Martinez and the positional flexibility of Matt Carpenter, Gyorko gives Mike Matheny multiple options to play matchups and to maximize either offensive or defensive starters depending on which makes more sense for the St. Louis Cardinals.
If the St. Louis Cardinals sign Mike Moustakas, then he is the third baseman and that further locks Matt Carpenter into the first base slot. It is difficult to imagine Gyorko and Martinez getting at-bats in that scenario and the Cardinals would have to make another move of an infielder to clear the logjam.
Thus, for these additional reasons Moustakas just does not make sense. The tendency of national writers to mention the Cardinals as fits for Moustakas is driven by the reported interest the Cardinals have in Josh Donaldson and Manny Machado. Those players are stars and play great defense.
Moustakas is not a star, does not play even average defense, and was not even the best offensive player on his team last year (see Hosmer, Eric). So, the interest should not, and likely will not translate to Moustakas being a fit in St. Louis. He simply is not the right fit for this team.
The St. Louis Cardinals should take a hard pass on the Moose – even if his market falls to a one year deal. Many of you know that I say there is no such thing as a bad one year deal (remember Ty Wiggington got a two-year deal so that does not count), but I do not trust Mike Matheny to be able to deal with all of the moving parts that adding another infielder would present.
I would rather see those extra at-bats go to Jose Martinez (remember him and his 900 OPS?). What do you think?