Red Sox Free Agent Targets: Top 5 available hitters

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 27: J.D. Martinez /
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TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 20: Mike Moustakas (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 20: Mike Moustakas (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

Mike Moustakas

The All-Star third baseman for the Kansas City Royals tied for eighth in the majors with a career-high 38 home runs this season. If Boston’s goal is to add a home run threat to the lineup, there aren’t many better available options than Moustakas.

The concern is whether or not Moustakas can repeat this performance. His previous career-high for home runs was only 22 and he owns a below-average 96 OPS+ for his career. He drew only 34 walks, resulting in a .313 OBP that places him outside the top 100 major league hitters this season.

The impressive home run total wasn’t enough to push his value higher than 1.8 WAR this season. Every other hitter on this list produced a WAR of more than double that value. Teams enamored by those home runs may drive up the price tag but if his power numbers regress back to his previous career levels then they’ll be stuck paying a hefty salary to a mediocre hitter.

Boston has Rafael Devers at third base but if they were to sign Moustakas they could easily slide one of them across the diamond to first base. It’s not as if either of them are great defensively at the hot corner. Acquiring Moustakas would presumably mean Boston is prepared to move on from Mitch Moreland. If Moose can deliver the same type of power numbers that he flashed this season then he’s a worthwhile upgrade. If this year was a mirage and he reverts back to the low-20 homer range then he’s essentially Moreland without the elite defense.