Mike Moustakas is one of the best hitters still on the free agent market. Could the New York Yankees swoop in and sign him?
The New York Yankees made a big splash earlier in the offseason with the Giancarlo Stanton trade. They have been focused on adding a starter, depending on the price range, but could they still steal a star position player in free agency?
Since the free agent market has been extremely slow, teams feel they may have a chance on shorter-term deals. The Yankees could come in and steal third baseman Mike Moustakas.
Here is MLB insider Jon Heyman about a possible signing:
Yankees people do like Moustakas, and they could surely see big production with their short porch in right field (Moustakas set a Royals record with 38 home runs playing home games in pitcher-friendly Kauffman Stadium), but they do seem to be spending more time on rotation help, at least at the moment. Speaking about the seemingly small Moustakas chances, one Yankees-connected person said, “It has nothing to do with the player, it’s the money.”
So the club would like to sign him, but the money is the issue. A lot of teams are trying to maintain salary and stay under the luxury tax threshold. The Yankees aren’t necessarily one of them, but they need funds for next offseason. Also, the club would have to give up its first-round pick if they sign him Moustakas for more than $50 million.
On top of that, they have young third baseman Miguel Andujar waiting in the wings. Still, the team could slot him in Moustakas at DH.
A hurdle they need to jump over is getting rid of the Jacoby Ellsbury contract. That has been a headache for the club and has hindered the Yankees in signing any notable free agents this offseason. Moustakas would be a monster with the short porch in right field, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he had 25 home runs at the All-Star break. But the slugger would have to take a very cheap contract on his terms to be with New York.
It should be in his best interest to win, not make money. He could, and maybe should, take a one-year deal, take a shot at a ring and try again next offseason. Alas, a bunch of the top free agents aren’t having it and want their money. It’s kind of irritating on both sides. For the fans, they just want the stars to sign already. For agents and owners, it’s a pain because this stuff is still being worried about with spring training more or less here.