Wednesday, February 7, 2018

One Last Call to Get Greedy Before Spring Training



Ladies and gentlemen, we are about a week away from pitchers and catchers reporting to George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida to kick off spring training camps for the 2018 season. As the New York Yankees roster stands now the team is likely to have a pair of rookies on either side of Didi Gregorius by the time we reach June baseball in Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres, but the good news for Brian Cashman and company is that there is still time to make a splash. The free agent market is bleak, and players have to be getting antsy as they await their agents finding them a new home for the 2018 season as players like Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Eric Hosmer, Alex Cobb and JD Martinez are still available on the free agent market. One would think that the longer this goes on the more likely the asking price, both in terms of dollars and years, would have to go down the closer we get to spring camps and the beginning of the regular season so with that thought process in mind here is one last shot at getting greedy and improving the team for the 2018 season.

As it stands now many fans are worried about having Miguel Andujar out there at third base because of his shaky defense, which I understand after being spoiled by solid defense from Chase Headley and Todd Frazier in recent years, but Brian Cashman and company seem confident and willing to let Andujar win the job in spring and learn on the job throughout the season. If the Yankees are fine with questionable defense then it makes me wonder if the team should offer a contract to another third baseman available out there on the free agent market who also has questionable defense, former Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas.

Now I know the idea of offering the man they call “Moose Tacos” isn’t exactly an original idea of mine, but everywhere I have read that has suggested this has stated they wanted to give Moustakas a one-year deal. Now just yesterday I voiced my displeasure with the club for letting Todd Frazier go to the New York Mets on a two-year deal and I want to reiterate those sentiments here this morning with Moustakas. I am sure many teams have thought to offer Moustakas a one-year deal with the idea of him building value for next season’s presumable spending spree on the free agent market that could include free agents like Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, Clayton Kershaw and others, but in my opinion that may be the exact reason why Moustakas will NOT take a one-year deal. Sure, Machado is playing shortstop this year, but I think his true value and eventual landing spot will be the third base position next offseason, so why would Moustakas want to compete against that? Wouldn’t it make more sense for Moustakas to take a two-year deal and presumably be the big-ticket item at third base all by his lonesome before the 2020 season? I think so.

You have to think that having a patient, yet powerful bat like Moustakas in the middle of the Yankees lineup in the left-handed friendly Yankee Stadium would not only make the Yankees happy, but would make Moustakas a better player as well, at least stats wise. Moustakas hit 38 home runs and drove in 85 RBI last season for the Royals, a team that was struggling to scratch runs across the plate, so could you imagine what Moustakas could do with a combination of Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Giancarlo Stanton protecting him in the lineup? Can you imagine having that kind of lineup protection with that kind of left-handed swing with 81 games a year coming inside Yankee Stadium? Moustakas may hit 50 home runs for all we know.

You will sacrifice average with Moustakas and you will also sacrifice defense with Moustakas, but I cannot see you getting much more in either category with Andujar out there for 162 games. That’s not a knock on Andujar, and yes before you ask I am still comfortable with having Andujar out there on Opening Day as the Yankees starting third baseman, but I have always said along the way this offseason that if the team could get better without going over the luxury tax threshold that they should. New York has roughly $20 million to spend this offseason without going over the cap and signing Moustakas to a two-year deal worth $30 million keeps the team under the cap while making them better across the board, in my opinion. Remember, MLB Trade Rumors predicted Moustakas to sign a five-year deal worth $85 million before the season with an AAV of $17 million so I may not be that far off.

Moustakas is American League and postseason tested, Andujar is not. That alone could be worth the investment for a team that is playing once again for their ultimate goal here in 2018, a World Series Championship. The team could win it with Andujar, but in my opinion it could be done a lot easier with a veteran presence like Moustakas out there wearing pinstripes here in 2018. One last call, get greedy… sign Moustakas to a two-year deal worth $30 million.

2 comments:

  1. I haven't read anyone willing to give him two years but it makes a lot of sense for Moustakas and for the Yankees, if they aren't entirely sold on Andujar. Moustakas does NOT want to compete with Manny Machado for third base free agent money, no one will. Moustakas will only get one more shot at a huge contract after this offseason and I think his contract would be much bigger as the big fish in the sea the year after than it would be if he were competing with Machado and others next season.

    Isn't Beltre a free agent too? Although I guess he could retire. Two years isn't ideal for the Yankees, but it isn't the worst deal the team can make either. Not by a long shot.

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  2. I bet Beltre retires after the season and bides his time until the HOF calls. Now that the Yankees have acquired infielder Russell Wilson, we should be all set, right? LOL! At the very least, we have one of the best QB's in the American League! If the Yankees do not add starting pitching, I wouldn't mind seeing Mike Moustakas spend a year taking shots at the short right field porch.

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