Report: Yankees, Moustakas Staying In Touch, Although Deal Seems Unlikely

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mike Moustakas still needs a team. The Yankees don’t necessarily need a third baseman, but general manager Brian Cashman has expressed reservations about chasing a world title while starting two rookie infielders.

Could there be a marriage brewing?

Jon Heyman of WFAN and FanRag Sports reports that the Yankees and Moustakas, a free agent, have stayed in occasional contact in recent days, although Heyman’s Yankees sources say a signing is a long shot.

The Bronx Bombers are looking to stay under the luxury-tax threshold of $197 million, and Cashman also has said he’d like to leave some money available for a potential trade at the deadline.

Mike Moustakas

Mike Moustakas of the Royals runs the bases after hitting a home run against the Chicago White Sox on July 22, 2017, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)

Right now, the Yankees are believed to be roughly $20 million under the threshold. Moustakas, 29, is expected to command a multiyear deal averaging between $15 million and $20 million annually. So while the Yankees might be interested in Moustakas, signing the two-time All-Star would likely require first shedding all or part of an existing big salary, such as Jacoby Ellsbury’s $21.1 million. But, of course, that’s easier said than done.

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Moustakas spent the first seven years of his career with the Kansas City Royals. Last season, he hit .272 with a career-high 38 homers and 85 RBIs.

If the Yankees do not add a veteran infielder, they could end up starting rookies Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres at third and second bases, respectively.

While a lot might have to fall into place in order for the Yankees to sign Moustakas, stranger things have happened. A Bombers trade for Giancarlo Stanton initially seemed unlikely, but New York and the Marlins were eventually able to hammer out a deal. Two years ago, it appeared the Mets and Yoenis Cespedes were going their separate ways, but the Mets stayed in touch with the slugger before signing him to a shorter contract more to their liking.

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If the Yankees were able to sign Moustakas, it would create a lineup that would strike even more fear into opposing pitchers. The Bombers’ starters already include sluggers Stanton, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird.

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