Reds should follow the Mets' example and trade Mike Moustakas for next to nothing

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Mike Moustakas (9) reacts.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Mike Moustakas (9) reacts. / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets have traded catcher James McCann and cash considerations to the Baltimore Orioles. In return, the O's will send a player to be named later to the Big Apple.

The Mets reportedly will pay about 75% of the remaining $24M on McCann's contract. Sorry to break it to you, Bob Castellini, but that's about what it's going to cost in order to part ways with Mike Moustakas.

Moustakas signed the largest free agent contract in Cincinnati Reds histroy prior to the 2020 season. Now, the four-year/$64M deal hangs like an albatros over the club heading into next season. If the Reds really want to trade Moose, the Mets have laid the groundwork for what a potential trade might look like.

The Reds need to find a trade partner for Mike Moustakas.

Steve Cohen has more money than he knows what do with. The New York Mets owner has spent mega-bucks this offseason on the likes of Justin Verlander, Carlos Correa, and Edwin Diaz. Keeping James McCann on the roster wasn't an option.

The Mets added Omar Narvaez to a group that already includes Tomas Nido and highly-touted catching prospect Francisco Alvarez. New York moved on from McCann, not because he was too expensive, but because he'd be taking playing time away from the Mets core of younger, more talented players.

That's the dilemma that the Cincinnati Reds are facing with Mike Moustakas. The former All-Star is already a sunken cost for next season. Moose is owed $18M in salary and will receive a $4M buyout next winter, as no team will take on his $20M option for the 2024 season.

But the Reds have several young infielders who need playing time. Matt McLain, Spencer Steer, and even Alejo Lopez would all be better options than Moustakas at third base next season. It's time for Cincinnati to cut their losses.

If the Cincinnati Reds were to follow the New York Mets example and trade Mike Moustakas while covering 75% of his 2023 salary, the Redlegs would be on the hook for about $13.5M. Go ahead and assume that Cincinnati would also need to cover some amount of the $4M club-option, and perhaps the Reds could deal Moose and $16M for a player to be named later.

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