I was reading an article about the Red Sox and their weakness at third base and it got me thinking, the Yankees are also weak at third base. They mentioned Moustakas as a potential candidate for the RS so why not the Yankees?
Moustakas is batting .275/.314/.554 triple slash and a /.868 OPS with a 125 OPS+. Those are great numbers.
Moustakas is 28 years old and is in the final year of his contract, and he is represented by Scott Boras. Boras is going to steer him towards the big money pay-day so A) the royals have no shot are resigning him and B) Moustakas would be purely a rental for this year. Everyone can find his stats on baseball reference but for all intents and purposes he’s a top 10 third baseman in the Majors and one of the few that would actually be available to the Yankees in a trade. (Todd Frazier will also be shopped most likely but Moustakas IMO would fit a lot better)
So what about Torres? Well its hard to say. He is obviously a stud and obviously is getting more comfortable in AAA but he still is moving around the infield and is still only 20 years old. Not many players succeed at such a young age and if you go back and look at age 20 seasons (or half seasons) you’ll see players struggle at first. If the Yankees are in the thick of a playoff race or in the playoffs dealing with growing pains would be harder to swallow. Now maybe he will be the exception to the rule or deals with those growing pains in July instead of September but all of that remains to be seen. I am 100% for Torres being the starting third baseman going forward, but if Cashman and the organization think it is best to keep Torres in AAA till next year then I understand that.
So what would Moustakas take in a trade?
A Carlos Beltran Deal: Yankees traded Beltran to Texas for Dillon Tate, Erik Swanson, and Nick Green. Tate was the headliner in the deal, a former 1st round pick who had struggled in the minors prior to the trade. Swanson was an 8th round pick with a career 3.71 era (lower before the trade) who has mainly pitched in A ball. Green is another A ball pitcher with some decent stuff, but basically Tate was the headliner and the other two guys were throw ins.
Beltran as everyone knows was a pending FA, having a great year, on a team that was not close to contending.
Lucroy to the Rangers
Lucroy has an extra year of control compared to Moustakas at the time of the trade and was a better player with a more scarce position (in my opinion) So I think the value is elevated.
The Brewers received the 16th best prospect, Lewis Brinson (22 y/o center fielder) and Luis Ortiz, the 64th best prospect rated by baseball reference (Pitcher 20 years old)
So I think that is a bit of an overpayment by the Rangers but considering the run they were trying to make it makes sense. The Yankees do not need to get bent over the barrel because their window is starting rather than closing.
Jay Bruce to the Mets: Another deal that needed to get done because of a stretch run. The mets got Bruce who was also signed for 2017, which may have added to the price they paid. The Mets gave up Dilson Herrera and Max Wotell, Herrera was the number 4 mets prospect after 2014 and number 46 in all of baseball that same year. He had a decent 2015,2016 so I don’t see his value changing all that much. Again I think the mets paid this higher price because of the extra year of team control and the big need for a lefty OF bat.
There are some other trades to look at: Braves getting Kemp, Nationals overpaying IMO for Melancon, and the Sox paying for Pomeranz.
Now I think the trend is that around the deadline teams with a closing window will spend a bit more for rentals or for guys with team control. I think the real trade to look at as a Moustakas comp would be the Beltran deal.
Here woiuld be my offer to Kansas City:
Mike Moustakas for Dillon Tate, Chase Headley (50% retained salary) and someone ranked between 25 and 35 in the Yankees system. Maybe Billy McKinney? I’m not an expert of prospects and adding McKinney would be more than enough. It may be enough to get the Royals to take on all of Headley’s contract. Or maybe just do the same exact deal as the Beltran deal, Tate plus two A ptichers for Moustakas.
The Yankees are deep with relief pitching (which I think Tate ends up becoming but if we keep him I hope he becomes a starter), at middle infield, and especially deep in the outfield. Where is McKinney going to play? Maybe we can use him to get someone else instead of just a rental with Moustakas but if the Yankees want to deal a tiny bit of their prospects I would be okay with that.
Moustakas would add another lefty bat to attack the porch in RF and would give the Yankees a DYNAMITE 1-8 lineup until Bird/Austin return, then it would be a DYNAMITE 1-9 lineup.
I am interested in hearing people’s thoughts on this, I know there are definitely more informed people than I am on prospect rankings and what value some guys have, but I know that if there is one position that could use an improvement (until Torres is 1000% ready) it is third base.