Hot Stove: Under the radar MLB free agents who could pay off

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 14: Matt Harvey #32 of the Cincinnati Reds throws the ball against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning on September 14, 2018 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 14: Matt Harvey #32 of the Cincinnati Reds throws the ball against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning on September 14, 2018 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Yes, Mike Moustakas really isn’t an under-the-radar player, especially since he played in game seven of the NLCS with the Brewers.

And yes, he earned a World Series ring when he was with the Royals where he batted .304 in the five-game series against the Mets.

But, of the third baseman, he’s the difference-maker who isn’t given the respect he deserves. Remember the 2017-2018 off-season? The one where Moustakas declined the Royals qualifying offer, then signed for a fraction – literally, a third of a that offer – with the Royals? Then, the Brewers gave him $1 million NOT to play for them in 2019.

Moustakas is certainly not the best third basemen in the 2019 free agent class. That honor goes to Josh Donaldson and Manny Machado. But, Moustakas isn’t awful. And, he’s managed to help teams get to the post-season. He’s a two-time All-Star with the Royals and has added power to his swing in his last two seasons as he hit 38 home runs in 2017 and 28 in 2018.

At age 30, he’s still in his prime years and could add more power to his swing. And, he continues to have average or slightly above-average range at third.

This under-rated player is due for someone to pay him more than the $5.5 he made in 2018 or the $8.7 million he made in 2017. There are rumors that the Cardinals are interested in him and with his quiet presence on the field, he would be a good fit there. Hopefully, his next signing involves more respect.