Colorado Rockies, MLB Spring Training

Colorado Rockies take low-risk, high-reward move hoping Mike Moustakas can resurrect career

Scottsdale, Ariz. — Colorado Rockies general manager Bill Schmidt knows that a minor league deal for former All-Star slugger Mike Moustakas is a low-risk move that could pay dividends.

Announced on Sunday morning as the newest addition to an evolving Rockies team this offseason, the 34-year-old Moustakas was introducing himself in the Colorado clubhouse before taking his first drills on the back fields of Colorado’s spring training complex. It was very much a “first day of school” vibe for the three-time All-Star, who hit 35 home runs as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019, but has struggled with injuries and offensive inconsistencies since.

Moustakas has played in just 140 combined games over the last two seasons while dealing with a variety of lower body injuries, including a calf strain that cost him the final six weeks of the 2022 campaign.

“In the beginning of the offseason, I wanted to make sure I was healthy before I came back and played,” Moustakas said on Sunday. “I wanted to make sure I got healthy and found my way back to 100 percent.

“About halfway through (the offseason), I’m like, ‘OK, I’m good to go.’ I still have some years left in me and I know I can still play this game.”

Colorado Rockies, Mike Moustakas hoping to benefit each other in 2023

With the Rockies losing Gold Glove second baseman Brendan Rodgers to a shoulder injury for likely the entire season, Ryan McMahon is expected to move over from third base to second base to fill in for Rodgers. That move sets up competition at third base between Elehuris Montero (acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in the Nolan Arenado trade), Nolan Jones (acquired in a trade this offseason with the Cleveland Guardians), and potentially Moustakas. Additionally, Moustakas said on Sunday that he could also see time at first base and at designated hitter should his deal with the Rockies work out for both sides.

Colorado general manager Bill Schmidt said that there was very little to lose in signing Moustakas to the non-roster deal.

“We’re going to take a look at him. The fact that he’s a non-roster guy, we’ll see where he is in his career,” Schmidt said. “We want to see if he has anything left. If he does, he’s been a good player in the past so we’ll take a look at that.”

The injury to Rodgers has caused some shifts inside Rockies camp and some opportunities as well. In an effort to resurrect his career, Moustakas may be in an excellent spot to do that in Denver, a place where he has slashed .324/.359/.405 in 39 career plate appearances during his 12-year MLB career.

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