Yankees Rumors: Mike Moustakas to the Bronx?

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 20: Mike Moustakas
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 20: Mike Moustakas /

With $71.4 million coming off the payroll, the Yankees could still spend roughly half of that and remain under the luxury tax threshold. But is Mike Moustakas a wise choice to allocate a large sum of money to?

For the first time in a number of years, the Yankees have more than one available option at third base.

On the surface, the simplest solution for general manager Brian Cashman (when he officially signs a contract extension that is) is to stick with Chase Headley and the one-year and $13 million remaining on his contract.

Headley, who fans love to theoretically dump each offseason, had a solid 2017 season, highlighted by an impressive ALCS, when he hit .389 with a double and two runs scored.

Since it’s unlikely the 33-year-old will replicate his .273/.352/.406 slash line and 61 RBI next year, his 132 strikeouts and only 12 home runs point to the notion that an upgrade is needed now, and not in 2019.

This then, lends credence to the report by Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, who says that the Yankees will be among three or four teams in hot pursuit of two-time All-Star, Mike Moustakas.

"One scout insisted Moustakas would hit 45 homers playing half of his games at Fenway, but the Red Sox don’t have a need for him unless they want Rafael Devers to DH. Plenty of teams need a third baseman, and the Mets, Angels, Yankees, and Giants could be among his suitors.More from Yanks Go YardCreating a Yankees-Bryan Reynolds trade package after latest Pirates updateYankees analyst Cameron Maybin projects surprise landing spot for Gary SánchezYankees swipe intriguing minor-league FA lefty flamethrower from BravesWhat does Carlos Rodón’s new jersey number mean for Domingo Germán?3 lefty relievers Yankees can still sign without breaking the bank"

Cafardo, who ranks Moustakas as the 14th best free agent this winter, also lists Brian Cashman at No. 8 and CC Sabathia as No. 9.

Since Moustakas is coming off a career year, one in which he blasted 38 homers, drove in 85 runs and slugged .521 with less than 100 strikeouts, it’s fully expected that the 29-year-old slugger will be looking for a deal in the neighborhood of $17-19 million per season for five or six years.

While a sweet swinging left-handed stick is certainly something that the Yankees could use in their predominately right-handed lineup, adding Moose seems like a bit of a stretch considering the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball, Gleyber Torres, could be major league ready by mid-July.

I fully understand he’ll need time to pick up where he left off following season ending surgery to the UCL in his left elbow, but unless the Yankees decide to trade Starlin Castro to free up second base, Torres’ only option is to man the hot corner.

Should Castro and the remaining $22.71 million on his deal be dealt, bringing back clubhouse leader Todd Frazier for two more years would make total sense.

Having come out and said that he hopes for a return to the Bronx, Frazier brings a lot more positives to the table than negative (strikeouts).

If the Toms River native is open to a bit of a hometown discount, say $12-14 million a season through 2019, then I say do it.

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Doing so would allow the 20-year-old Torres to spend a full season at Triple-A, while Headley plays out the remainder of his contract at DH or first base, should Greg Bird get bit by the injury bug … again.

Then the club can reassess where it stands before a guy like Manny Machado becomes available.