If the Philadelphia Phillies do not land superstar infielder Manny Machado, they have their eyes fixated on a potential fallback option at third base.
Jon Morosi of MLB.com reported on Tuesday that the Phillies, along with the Chicago White Sox, are monitoring the market for free agent Mike Moustakas. Both teams are also interested in making an offer for the veteran third baseman when Machado ultimately makes his decision.
It has been well documented this offseason that the Phillies and White Sox are interested in both Machado and Bryce Harper. Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY wrote last week that Machado received a formal long-term contract offer from the Sox, which is closer to $200 million rather than $300 million.
The Phillies, however, are currently in negotiations with Machado per Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Nevertheless, if Philly does sign Moustakas, he is not a bad backup option. While he does not have skills that Machado possesses, the 30-year-old third baseman is a lefty bat that the Phils could desperately use.
Last month, Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports mentioned in a column that the Phillies have considered Moustakas as an alternate option at third base.
Philadelphia first expressed in the veteran infielder during the trade deadline back in July. But as we all know, Moustakas, who was with the Kansas City Royals at the time, was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers.
In 98 games with KC last season, he slashed .249/.309/.468 with 20 home runs and 62 RBIs. Moustakas also drew 30 walks and struck out 63 times in 378 plate appearances.
However, in his limited time with the Brewers, the 30-year-old slashed a pedestrian .256/.326/.441 with eight home runs and 33 RBIs.
With all that being said, if Moose does join the Phillies, expect them to attempt to trade third baseman Maikel Franco per Morosi. The MLB insider adds that the San Diego Padres could be a potential destination for the 26-year-old Franco.
It should be interesting to see how everything plays out in free agency as Machado holds the cards on what other teams such as Phillies decide to do.