Kansas City Royals: Braves potential landing spot for Mike Moustakas

Mike Moustakas #8 of the Kansas City Royals (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mike Moustakas
Mike Moustakas #8 of the Kansas City Royals (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mike Moustakas /

The Kansas City Royals will be shipping players off at the trade deadline and Mike Moustakas surely will be in that bunch. The Atlanta Braves would be the perfect trade partner.

The Braves released Jose Bautista of his duties on Sunday morning and he was playing third base for Atlanta. Bautista is normally an outfielder, but the Braves slotted him in at third and obviously things didn’t pan out. He was batting just .143 in 35 at bats.

With Bautista out the door, the Braves need a new third baseman. They’re currently planning to play Johan Camargo there every day. Camargo has the ability to play second base, third base, and shortstop and is currently batting .226.

While Camargo had a nice year last year, things haven’t gone as well at the plate this year. He’s 24 years old and has room to grow though, so that’s the upside there. With the Braves actually contending early on this season, no one will be surprised to see Atlanta go after some trade pieces.

That’s where Mike Moustakas comes into play. Moose, before Sunday’s game against the Yankees, was slashing .295/.335/.534 in 176 at bats. He has ten home runs and 31 RBI. Moose might not have garnered any attention on the free agent market, but he’d be a perfect fit for the Atlanta Braves and could be what helps them continue their winning ways down the stretch.

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As for the juicy part, we all want to know about trade pieces. According to Minor League Ball, the top five prospects for the Braves entering the season were Ronald Acuna, Luiz Gohara, Kyle Wright, Mike Soroka, and Kolby Allard. All are pitchers except for Acuna and he’ll likely be off the table anyway.

Gohara and Soroka have pitched at the big league level while Wright and Allard are waiting for their opportunity. Prospects can still be traded even if they’re in the majors (i.e. Brandon Finnegan in 2015), so that doesn’t mean the first two couldn’t be in consideration.

Soroka has a 3.68 ERA in three starts, Gohara has a 1.29 ERA in seven innings thrown while Wright is posting a 4.53 ERA in the minors and Allard is dealing with a 2.02 ERA. While Wright’s numbers aren’t great at the moment, he’s only 22 years old. Plenty of time to develop the young pitcher.

The Royals could use any of those pitchers to boost their rotation and/or bullpen, so this could be a great trade opportunity for the Kansas City Royals and for Mike Moustakas. Moose would have a chance to play for a winning team and who would turn that down?

As long as Moustakas keeps hitting the ball well and playing decent defense (there is no designated hitter in the National League, so Moose would be playing third base every day), he should be a viable trade asset for the Royals. Hopefully the Braves are interested when the trade deadline comes.