Former Cincinnati Reds infielder Mike Moustakas returned to Great American Ball Park for the first time on Monday night after being let go during the offseason.
Moustakas, who signed a four-year/$64-million contract prior to the 2020 season, was designated for assignment this past winter and eventually landed a minor league deal with the Colorado Rockies.
Moustakas had one year remaining on his deal, meaning that the Reds are essentially paying Moose's $18-million salary for the 2023 season. They're also on the hook for the $4-million team option, meaning Moustakas is taking home a cool $22-million to not play baseball for the Cincinnati Reds.
Mike Moustakas' gargantuan contract is finally paying dividends for the Reds.
But the Cincinnati Reds are finally starting to see that contract pay dividends. Mike Moustakas, who came on in the sixth inning of Monday's game as a pinch hitter, drew a bases loaded walk and actually put the Colorado Rockies ahead by a score of 4-3.
However, Rockies manager Bud Black made a decision he would immediately regret, and kept Moustakas in the game after grabbing a one-run lead. Moose took over at third base for Ryan McMahon who shifted over to second base.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Jonathan India lined a ground ball to third base that was booted by Moustakas. India reached first base safely and Elly De La Cruz was the Reds next batter.
The rookie pounded a ground ball into the dirt directly in front of home plate. Moustakas charged the chopper up the third base line, but he spiked the throw to first base into the dirt, and the Reds had two runners on with only one out.
The next batter, Spencer Steer drew a walk, which set the stage for Joey Votto. The former NL MVP send a base knock up the middle that scored both India and De La Cruz and gave the Reds a 5-4 lead. Cincinnati would hold on for the one-run victory.
Mike Moustakas' time in a Cincinnati Reds uniform was marred by injury. In three seasons, Moose appeared in just 184 out of a possible 384 games (48-percent). Moustakas has had a solid season in Denver, but on Monday night, the Reds finally saw that gargantuan contract begin to show its value.