Making a playoff push: Brewers get 3B Mike Moustakas from Royals
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers found the left-handed power hitter they sought, acquiring third baseman Mike Moustakas on Friday from the Kansas City Royals to complete a second significant trade in two days as the club makes a push for its first playoff appearance since 2011.
“We were looking for another big bat to add to the lineup and we got it,” manager Craig Counsell said. “We feel like we can put together a really tough lineup on a daily basis now.”
The Brewers sent outfielder Brett Phillips and pitcher Jorge Lopez to the Royals, who are in last place in the AL Central.
Milwaukee announced the trade after beating the San Francisco Giants 3-1. Reliever Joakim Soria, who was acquired Thursday from the Chicago White Sox, made his Brewers debut by pitching a scoreless seventh inning.
“Two left-handed bats in the lineup with pop, I’ll take it,” Chase Anderson, Friday’s winning pitcher, said in reference to Moustakas and Eric Thames.
Kansas City had left Yankee Stadium when Friday’s rainout was announced.
The 29-year-old Moustakas will be reunited with former World Series champion teammate Lorenzo Cain on the Brewers. Moustakas was hitting .249 with 20 homers and 62 RBIs for the Royals.
“He’s meant a lot, it’s been fun to watch him grow up,” Royals manager Ned Yost said before a doubleheader Saturday at Yankee Stadium. “It’s great to see him go to a contending team.”
At least initially, the Brewers will shift current third baseman Travis Shaw to second base.
“We’re focused on the upside offensively to add an impact bat to the lineup, a guy who we think fits our lineup and our ballpark very well,” Milwaukee general manager David Stearns said. “The truth is with the way we move our infielders around, conventional positions don’t apply to us all that much. We ask a lot of our infielders … to play all over the dirt. And so Travis has played all over the dirt for the majority of this season and for most of last season as well.”
Shaw is ready to play second base Saturday night.
“They approached me I guess about a month ago and asked my thoughts about how comfortable I was over there, this and that,” Shaw said. “I feel like I can do a decent job over there. The world’s going to say I can’t do it. I take that challenge to heart. It’s obviously going to make our lineup better, it’s going to make our lineup deeper. Moustakas is a good player. He’s won a World Series. He’s a middle-of-the order type of guy. He’s going to extend our lineup, he’s going to give us another left-handed power guy.”