Dec 02, 2019 11:14 PM

AP source: Moustakas, Reds agree to $64 million, 4-year deal

Posted Dec 02, 2019 11:14 PM

CINCINNATI (AP) — 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 The Associated Press, 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 straight offseason, the Reds are making a splurge in free agency 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 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. Cincinnati then launched into a rebuild, trading away stars for prospects. They lost at least 94 games annually from 2015-18.

Cincinnati reversed course and decided to try to become competitive again last season by trading for Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood, Tanner Roark and Sonny Gray, who became an All-Star. Puig, Kemp and Roark were dealt during the season, along with Gennett. The Reds finally escaped last place, finishing ahead of Pittsburgh with a 75-87 mark, but they wasted a lot of solid pitching along the way.

Moustakas has 42 games of playoff experience with the Royals in 2014-15 and the Brewers the last two seasons.

Moustakas rejected a $17.4 million qualifying offer from Kansas City after the 2017 season but eventually returned to the Royals on a one-year deal. He was traded to the Brewers that July and finished with a .251 average, 28 homers and 95 RBIs.

He had a $7 million salary this year and gets a $3 million buyout for declining his $10 million option. He’s made $18.7 million on a pair of one-year deals the last two seasons.

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Dec 02, 2019 11:14 PM
Louisville is new No. 1, unranked Michigan goes to No. 4

Louisville is the latest No. 1 following an unexpected loss by Duke. Michigan has matched a record by debuting at No. 4.

A season of parity is taking a toll in the AP Top 25.

Louisville became the fourth team in five weeks to claim the top spot, receiving 48 of 65 first-place votes from a national media panel in The Associated Press men’s basketball poll released Monday.

No. 2 Kansas, coming off the Maui Invitational title, had three first-place votes and No. 5 Virginia received five. Maryland rose to No. 3 — the Terrapins’ highest ranking since hitting No. 2 in 2015-16 — in a week when every spot in the poll changed from last week.

Michigan (7-0) knocked off Iowa StateNo. 7 North Carolina and No. 9 Gonzaga to win the Battle 4 Atlantis title in the Bahamas. The Wolverines were rewarded with nine first-place votes and matched Kansas in 1989 for the biggest jump from being unranked in the history of the poll that dates to 1949.

Not a bad first season under former Michigan star Juwan Howard.

“I’m sure we’re on the map now,” Howard said. “A lot of teams are looking and seeing Michigan as a name that’s out there. When you beat teams like Creighton and Iowa State as well as North Carolina and Gonzaga, you’re no longer under the radar.”

uisville wasn’t exactly under the radar after opening the preseason poll at No. 5. The Cardinals (7-0) made a steady climb to No. 2 and moved to the top spot when previous No. 1 Duke lost at home to Stephen F. Austin. Duke dropped to No. 10 after its 150-game home winning streak against nonconference opponents ended in Durham.

Louisville has its first No. 1 ranking since 2013 — the year the Cardinals won the national title — after beating Akron and Western Kentucky last week. The only other time Louisville was ranked No 1. was in 2009.

“There’s no team that’s arrived. No team’s arrived,” Cardinals coach Chris Mack said. “A lot of people are saying that we haven’t played anybody. A lot of people are saying we’re not there. Maybe we aren’t deserving. I don’t care.”

The record for most teams at No. 1 is seven, set in 1983, so this season is already more than halfway there. Another jumble could come next Monday because of a slate of huge games this week, including Michigan at Louisville on Tuesday.

“So many good teams, not very many great teams,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “Everybody’s got question marks. Everybody’s got things to try to deal with and I don’t think any of us know where anybody is right now. ... Very good might be the key word. Great might be out of the equation right now.”

JAYHAWKS RISE

Kansas was No. 3 in the preseason poll and dropped to fifth after a season-opening loss to Duke. The Jayhawks (6-1) have been on a roll since them, culminating last week with their third Maui Invitational title.

Kansas used its size up front to beat up on Chaminade, Brigham Young and Dayton to add to the Maui titles it won in 1996 and 2015.

“I’m not sure the win will have a ton to do with what we do going forward,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. “It’s still November and I would like to think that that automatically puts us in a very good or favorable position, but if you don’t play well against Colorado, a top-20 team, next Saturday then this probably didn’t mean as much.”

RISING

Michigan had the biggest jump after receiving 12 overall votes last week. No. 6 Ohio State and No. 14 Auburn were next, each moving up four spots.

FALLING

No. 25 Utah State had the biggest drop, falling 10 places after losing to Saint Mary’s on Friday.

No. 11 Michigan State tumbled eight spots after going 2-1 in the Maui Invitational.

No. 21 Tennessee dropped four places after losing to Florida State and beating Virginia Commonwealth at the Emerald Coast Classic.

MOVING IN

No. 17 Florida State is ranked for the first time this season after beating Tennessee and Purdue to win the Emerald Coast Classic.

No. 19 Dayton moved into the Top 25 for the first time since 2015-16 following a strong performance at the Maui Invitational. The Flyers (5-1) knocked off Georgia and Virginia Tech before taking Kansas to overtime in the title game.

No. 24 Butler moved into the AP poll for the first time since hitting as high as No. 11 in 2016-17 after winning the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City. The Bulldogs (7-0) beat Missouri, then took down Stanford 68-67 on Kamar Baldwin’s 18-foot jumper.

MOVING OUT

Florida dropped out from No. 24 despite winning the Charleston Classic last Sunday and knocking off Marshall.

Xavier was out from No. 25 following the loss to the Gators in the title game.

Texas Tech took a massive fall after losing to Iowa and Creighton at the Las Vegas Invitational, dropping out of the poll from No. 12.