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Who benefits from the Mike Moustakas deal?

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A roundtable discussion on the ins and outs of Mike Moustakas returning to the Royals.

Kansas City Royals v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

HOST: Hello, and welcome back. I’d like to thank my musical guest, Bronson Arroyo, for that rendition of “Glycerine.” Wasn’t that something, everyone?

[studio audience whoops and applauds]

Alright, we’re going to move on to some fresh baseball news, which has really been in short supply this winter, am I right?

[studio audience groans]

Yes, this offseason has been something, but on Thursday night, news broke about a pretty special reunion. We have a longtime fan favorite going back home, with Mike Moustakas signing a one-year deal to go home to the Royals, and here to talk about it is our panel. From left to right, we have a Baseball Analyst ...

BASEBALL ANALYST: Good evening.

HOST: ... a Casual Royals Fan ...

CASUAL ROYALS FAN: Hello.

HOST: ... and [squints at teleprompter] Super Woke Grant Brisbee?

SUPER WOKE GRANT BRISBEE: Thank you for having me.

HOST: We’ll start with you, Casual Royals Fan. What were your immediate thoughts when you heard that Moustakas was coming back?

CASUAL ROYALS FAN: Oh, I was thrilled. I mean, I love Moose and always have. He’s signed a few things for my daughter over the years, so she’s over the moon about this. She was so sad when I said that he was probably going to the Yankees, so this is just great.

HOST: Now, what about the x’s and o’s about this move? How does this help the Royals now and in the future, Baseball Analyst?

BASEBALL ANALYST: Well, it’s a great value for the Royals, for one. There’s a player option that’s something like a safety net if Moustakas gets hurt before hitting the market again next year, but the overall bargain for the Royals is pretty sweet. They were probably willing to offer Moustakas an extension worth upward of $75 million at one point, so this is a real steal for them!

HOST: It seems like it, but I’m wondering about what this does to their plans for the future. Weren’t they rebuilding, or at least taking a step back to regroup and reload? What are your thoughts about that, Super Woke Grant Brisbee?

SUPER WOKE GRANT BRISBEE: [takes long drag off cigarette]

SUPER WOKE GRANT BRISBEE: You people make me sick.

HOST: I ... I’m sorry?

SUPER WOKE GRANT BRISBEE: You’re talking about one of the 100 best players in an industry that clears close to $10 billion every year. He was underpaid for years, but it probably didn’t bother him too much because he knew this payday was coming. Now his reward for helping the Royals revitalize the franchise and winning two pennants is Omar Infante money.

BASEBALL ANALYST: Ah, yes, well, there are several reasons why his market didn’t develop. The first was the scarcity of open third base jobs around major league baseball, the ...

SUPER WOKE GRANT BRISBEE: Moustakas would have hit 40 home runs at Yankee Stadium, and he still would have finished third in homers on the team. You’re telling me the Yankees couldn’t have used him if his market was so thin?

HOST: That’s an interesting point. There had to be other teams that would have been improved with him in the lineup.

BASEBALL ANALYST: Well, sure, but that’s the second reason for his soft market. The luxury tax was something the Yankees were clearly hoping to stay under, and ...

SUPER WOKE GRANT BRISBEE: [takes longer drag off cigarette] Fake-ass salary cap. That’s all it is. Imagine the Yankees, who have probably sold enough licensed gear in 100 different countries in the last 24 hours to pay for Moustakas’ salary, acting like they’re a normal team. It’s kind of funny how all of the teams started to care about the luxury tax at the same time. Kind of funny. Kind of suspicious. But what we have now is a world in which the Yankees aren’t willing to outspend the rest of the world. The Yankees.

CASUAL ROYALS FAN: I mean, look, I love Moose as much as the next guy, but I make $30,000 a year refurbishing toothbrushes for Amazon, and it’s hard to have sympathy for a guy for “only” making $7 million or whatever. He gets to play a kid’s game for a living. If he wants to trade places with me, he’s welcome to it.

[studio audience cheers wildly]

SUPER WOKE GRANT BRISBEE: But those savings are going straight to David Glass, who was the former CEO of Walmart and still sits on the board. He’s worth something like $2 billion, if not even more, and that’s before you factor in that he bought the Royals for $96 million and they’re now worth $1 billion. Have you ever paid money to watch David Glass? “Hey, honey, let’s grab the kids and go down and watch David Glass sign shit and send emails.”

CASUAL ROYALS FAN: Now, hold on ...

SUPER WOKE GRANT BRISBEE: Moustakas got screwed because of a fake salary cap and the stupidity of draft-pick compensation being tied to individual players.

BASEBALL ANALYST: Ah, yes! That’s the third reason for his soft market! See, teams are valuing draft picks more and more these days, and ...

SUPER WOKE GRANT BRISBEE: They’re valuing draft picks because they’ll turn into cheap young players, which will save them money, and then they won’t give money to those draft picks in 10 years because they’ll cost them future draft picks that will turn into cheap young players.

And don’t forget, the qualifying offer is a penalty designed to hurt a dozen or so players every year! Those are the only people who get hosed! They’re absorbing the bulk of the penalties from the last CBA, which was signed by mollusks with neckties who couldn’t see this coming.

CASUAL ROYALS FAN: Listen, I don’t care about all that. My daughter and I are thrilled to have Moose back. Wish Hosmer could have joined him, but that’s okay. We got at least one of our guys back, and we’ll be there to cheer him on. We just like watching baseball.

SUPER WOKE GRANT BRISBEE: [is now holding three different lit cigarettes in each hand] Except, where does this go from here? What demons and evils will shoot out of Moustakas’ Box and infect the world? There’s no way the Players Association is going to let this situation repeat itself. Every player is going to be against the bogeyman of the qualifying offer, and they’ll fight to remove it in three years.

Every owner is absolutely stunned at how much the qualifying offers suppress salaries, so there’s no way they’re going to give them up.

Carnage. It will be labor carnage. You like watching baseball? Guess what? There isn’t going to be baseball.

CASUAL ROYALS FAN: Well, that’s fine. I can do other things with my time and money if the millionaires want to fight with the billionaires.

[studio audience cheers wildly]

CASUAL ROYALS FAN: Heck, I’ll go golfing more.

SUPER WOKE GRANT BRISBEE: You ... you buy your golf equipment from Wal-Mart, don’t you?

CASUAL ROYALS FAN: Gotta be honest, you’re really pissing me off right now.

HOST: Ha ha, passions run high when it comes to America’s Pastime! We’re going to be right ...

BASEBALL ANALYST: I think what we’re neglecting to point out is that Moustakas will be a great trade chip for the Royals this July if he repeats his power performance from last year.

SUPER WOKE GRANT BRISBEE: He’s a human being. What if he doesn’t want to be shuttled to a random city in the middle of the year? What if he likes Kansas City? And don’t overlook that part where there won’t be baseball in three years. You’re going to be working at Wal-Mart, and I’m going to be your manager.

BASEBALL ANALYST: Well, that’s ...

SUPER WOKE GRANT BRISBEE: And guess what? You’re fired.

BASEBALL ANALYST: Wait, no, just give me another chance.

CASUAL ROYALS FAN: Love Moustakas, love my Royals. But I don’t care about millionaires making less millions. And if there’s no baseball, screw them all. And the players know they have a sweet deal, and they’ll cave. They always do.

SUPER WOKE GRANT BRISBEE: First of all, it’s “fewer millions,” and secondly, you’re probably right. But that doesn’t mean it’s not screwed up, and while we’re here talking, South Carolina barbecue is way better. When I go to Joe’s, I bring my own packs of mustard sauce just to piss you people o...

CASUAL ROYALS FAN: [punches Super Woke Grant Brisbee right in the beans]

SUPER WOKE GRANT BRISBEE: gloornnnkdg

HOST: Oh, no.

SUPER WOKE GRANT BRISBEE: were ... you ... recording ... that ...

HOST: Yes, of course.

SUPER WOKE GRANT BRISBEE: must ... make ... GIF ... of ... myself ... getting ... hit ... in ... beans ...

HOST: Well, that’s all the time we have. I’d like to thank our panel today, even if they got a little raucous, ha ha, and we’ll see you tomorrow, when ...

HOST: ...

HOST: ... aw, crap, George Will, really?