CINCINNATI – All-Star infielder Mike Moustakas and the Cincinnati Reds have agreed to a $64 million, four-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told AP, the team’s first move to upgrade a lineup that struggled to score.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because the agreement had not been announced.
For the second consecutive offseason, the active Reds are splurging as they try to shake themselves out of a rut of six straight losing seasons. Their first move involves getting a player from the NL Central-rival Milwaukee Brewers. The 31-year-old Moustakas could fill the Reds’ hole at second base that opened when Scooter Gennett got hurt and then was traded last season.
Cincinnati scored the fourth-fewest runs in the NL last season despite one of the league’s most hitter-friendly ballparks. Bulking up on offense, stabilizing the outfield and overhauling the bullpen are the Reds’ priorities in the offseason.
Moustakas is a first step toward fixing the offense. He hit .254 with 35 homers and 87 RBIs this year, making his third All-Star team. He began the season at second base and moved to third with Travis Shaw in a slump. Cincinnati has Eugenio Suarez at third base.
The Reds haven’t been to the playoffs since 2012, when they won 90 games and lost to the Pirates in the NL wild-card game.