Boras “The system has failed” Mike Moustakas

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T15D23
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Boras “The system has failed” Mike Moustakas

Postby T15D23 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:02 am

Scott Boras says “The system has failed” Mike Moustakas

Rustin Dodd

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SURPRISE, ARIZ. — The long, frustrating winter of Mike Moustakas ended at 11:22 a.m. on Saturday, 128 days after it had begun. The culmination came in an empty storage room adjacent to the Royals’ clubhouse here.

Moustakas, a 29-year-old third baseman, stood against a white wall, flanked by two men who have shaped his baseball career, his agent and his general manager. Rarely have homecomings felt so unsatisfying.

In the moments after a one-year, $6.5 million contract became official, Royals GM Dayton Moore acknowledged the fortunate circumstances that led Moustakas back to Kansas City. A few feet away, and a few moments later, agent Scott Boras railed against the free agent system that had left an All-Star third baseman helpless in the opening weeks of March.

“Our system has failed,” Boras said. “We always want demand for the best. This is about players, players who are excellent, players who are All-Stars, and Moose has delivered in all.”

The system had led to this, an All-Star third baseman who hit 38 homers last season saying yes to a deal that will pay him less than he made in 2017, even if he maxes out on $2.2 million in performance bonuses. The system had led to a Royals franchise changing course in early March and chasing a free agent whose return once seemed improbable. The system, in fact, had led to a meeting between Moustakas and Boras earlier this week in Newport Beach, Calif.

It had been more than 121 days since Moustakas had become a free agent for the first time, and months since he had turned down a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer. He had watched his market dry up and his options dwindle, as possible destinations (the Angels and Giants, to name two) moved on without him. The offseason had been long and frustrating, Moustakas said, and he had tried to process his future. There was anger, confusion, many emotions. Yet as he spoke with Boras and Moore about a possible return to Kansas City, he came to a realization: He needed to play baseball.

“We were able to get this done,” Moustakas said. “And I was able to come back here and be able to play baseball again.”

The return was unexpected, even inside the Royals clubhouse. Moustakas, though, sought to make the best of his perplexing situation. As he sat at home, waiting to sign, his wife, Stephanie, had given birth to their second son, a baby boy named Michael Carter. In the days after he was born, Moustakas called it the “best offseason ever.”

“Blessing in disguise, is what I’d say,” Moustakas said. “For some reason, when unfortunate things happen, like my ACL or this offseason, I’m blessed with a great outcome.

“When I tore my ACL [in 2016], I had my little baby girl. Long offseason this year, I have a little baby boy. It really doesn’t get much better than that for me.”

This was not the offseason he planned, of course. In the months after breaking the Royals home run record and making his second All-Star Game, he signed for less guaranteed money than former teammate Jarrod Dyson, a fourth outfielder. In the process, he became the most conspicuous symbol of a growing discord between players and management, a casualty of a sluggish free-agent market, a reminder of the devaluing of homers.

Boras, his agent, had misjudged the market. Moustakas lost nearly $10 million in the process in 2018. Yet as Boras, Moustakas and Moore gathered for a group media session on Saturday morning, Boras questioned the “integrity” of the current system, mentioning “intervening factors” that had mucked up his client’s market.

Because Moustakas had declined a qualifying offer, potential suitors risked losing a draft pick to sign him. Because clubs such as the New York Yankees were publicly concerned about the implications of the game’s luxury tax, Moustakas was not a priority. And because Moustakas was content to wait out the market in November and December, he was left with few options.

Reports this week indicated that Moustakas turned down a multiyear deal with the Los Angeles Angels that would have paid him close to $45 million. The Angels, however, pushed back against that notion on Saturday, a source telling ESPN’s Buster Olney that “they never made a three-year, $45 million offer.”

“Things intervene,” Boras said, “and it’s become something other than the best players playing baseball at the highest level for the best teams.”

The Royals, meanwhile, were happy to emerge with an unlikely asset. Moore called Moustakas “one of the more special players that we’ve had in Royals history” and “part of the fabric of Kansas City.” As he stood near Moustakas on Saturday morning, he appeared almost sheepish at the cost of a homegrown All-Star.

“We’re fortunate that it happened for us the way it did,” Moore said. “That’s as simply as I can say it.”

Moustakas will now have nearly two weeks to get ready for the 2018 season. In the coming days, he will take extra at-bats in minor-league games and seek to refine his timing. He believes he will be ready for opening day on March 29.

“We still got some weeks left,” he said.

The presence of Moustakas will push Cheslor Cuthbert off third base and offer another roster question in the final weeks of camp. Yet Royals manager Ned Yost said this week that he will still seek to give Cuthbert 400 to 450 at-bats. That plan could be aggressive and will require creativity. On Thursday morning, Cuthbert said he was happy for Moustakas’ return.

“He’s done so much for the Royals,” Cuthbert said.

For one day, Moustakas was a Royal again, offering hugs and hellos inside the clubhouse. As he entered the room following a morning physical, he bumped into Jeff Davenport, the club’s senior director of team travel. Moments later, he was surrounded by old friends.

The system had led to a strange outcome. Yet Moustakas felt back at home, he said. He is comfortable with the staff here, the trainers and the coaches. He will seek to replicate his performance from 2017 and head back to the market next offseason.

This winter was naturally frustrating, he said. He couldn’t deny that. Yet as it ended, he savored his return to the Royals and felt blessed by a family addition. Earlier this week, as the deal was nearly complete, Moustakas told his 1-year-old daughter they were returning to Kansas City. She celebrated by running around the room.

“I was able to be home for my family and be there for my wife and my babies,” Moustakas said. “It was awesome.”

Contract details: Moustakas can make up to $2.2 million in incentives this year, in addition to the $5.5 million base salary and $1 million buyout against a mutual option in 2019. The bonuses start at 225 plate appearances, escalate up and max out at 450 plate appearances.
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T15D23

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User avatar
T15D23
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Re: Boras “The system has failed” Mike Moustakas

Postby T15D23 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:02 am

Wow.

Todd Frazier is making more per year.

Wow.
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T15D23

- 11/25/03 GBMA

- 6/11/04 GBCJ

- 6/9/07 God Bless Leo

- 10/16/07 God Bless Huck

- 11/12/11 God Bless Mom

- 09/24/14 God Bless Dad

-------------------------

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davis2
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:31 pm
Location: Central NY

Re: Boras “The system has failed” Mike Moustakas

Postby davis2 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:49 am

T15D23 wrote:Wow.

Todd Frazier is making more per year.

Wow.
I won't be surprised if the players eventually retaliate somehow. It's a shitty system,agreed to or not. There is no MLB without the best players in the world. Greed is going to set this game back again.
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