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Report: Phillies, Royals discussing Mike Moustakas

Kansas City Royals v Houston Astros

HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 24: Mike Moustakas #8 of the Kansas City Royals makes a barehanded attempt on a slow roller off the bat of Josh Reddick of the Houston Astros in the seventh inning at Minute Maid Park on June 24, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies and Royals have discussed a potential deal for third baseman Mike Moustakas. Although the two sides don’t appear to be closing in on anything definite yet, Salisbury points out that the Royals have sent scouts to evaluate the Phillies’ minor league system -- just in case.

Moustakas, 29, is in his eighth season with the Royals. He isn’t quite the All-Star, 38-home run hitter of yesteryear, however, and has batted a middling .255/.310/.467 with 15 home runs and 1.3 fWAR through 332 plate appearances in 2018. Despite his recent struggles at the plate, his proven track record, pronounced power stroke, and average defense make him an appealing get for the Phillies, though any deal would come with a relatively short shelf life as the veteran infielder prepares to enter free agency following the expiration of his one-year, $6.5 million contract this fall.

The Phillies aren’t limiting their options to Moustakas, naturally, and have been linked to both the Rangers’ veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre and the Orioles’ highly-coveted Manny Machado over the last several weeks. Machado, whom the Orioles will likely try to move before the July 31 trade deadline, presents a much bigger challenge for the Phillies than Moustakas. He’s seen no shortage of suitors this summer: Per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Dodgers are rumored to be the frontrunners in any potential trade, while the Padres and Diamondbacks have also been recently connected to the 25-year-old shortstop.