Charlie Riedel/Associated Press
The New York Yankees are reportedly in contact with free-agent third baseman Mike Moustakas, but a signing does not appear imminent.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported on Tuesday the two sides “have been in occasional contact in recent days” but quoted sources close to the Yankees who said bringing Moustakas aboard is a “long shot.”
According to Heyman, New York is concerned with signing any marquee free agent because of the luxury-tax threshold and the possibility of losing a draft pick.
Heyman said the Yankees are more immediately focused on cheaper pitching options and cited a source close to the team who said the tepid chances of signing Moustakas “has nothing to do with the player. It’s the money.”
The report noted New York could pursue infielder Manny Machado next offseason if it remains below the luxury-tax threshold, although it could be interested in a shorter deal with Moustakas.
The third baseman has been on the Kansas City Royals his entire career and is a two-time All-Star who helped them win the 2015 World Series.
He is also just 29 years old and theoretically in the middle of his prime after a head-turning showing in 2017, when the left-handed slugger slashed .272/.314/.521 with a career-high 38 home runs and 85 RBI. Power like that would likely work well with the short porch in right field of Yankee Stadium, and he would provide balance in a lineup with right-handed power hitters Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez.
While there are some concerns about his fielding after he was responsible for minus-eight defensive runs saved last year, per FanGraphs, he has proved capable in the past. Moustakas was plus-14 in the category in 2012 and in the positives in 2015 and 2016.
Ultimately, Moustakas would figure to fit in with the Yankees and add notable power to the left side of the plate, but there are concerns about costs as the team attempts to build on last season’s American League Championship Series appearance.