The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 MLB free agency rumors: Mike Moustakas ‘perfect fit’ for Yankees?

Could another big Yankees splash be on the way?

While it would probably be safe to assume that general manager Brian Cashman is done with big-ticket, high-cost moves this offseason, nothing can be totally ruled out. If a situation presented itself that could make the 2018 Yankees better while keeping the integrity of the luxury tax threshold intact for 2019, a win-now contender in the Bronx would likely be interested.

Is Mike Moustakas that player?

ESPN’s Buster Olney speculated on where Moustakas’ suddenly-cold market could turn over the next few months. If—and it’s a big if—Moustakas would be willing to take a one-year deal to re-establish himself for a better run on next year’s market, perhaps the Yankees could work something out.

The last number I saw on the Yankees’ payroll had them projected around $180M.  Moustakas at around $15M for one year may fit in there but it would end the chances of making any other moves without shedding salary.

It’s an interesting idea but I don’t think it’s a realistic one.

--Posted at 11:12 am by SG / 83 Comments | - (0)


Page 1 of 1 pages:

Too much imo.

It makes no sense. There’s no way that they exceed the HalCap for Mike freakin’ Moustakas.

Does this mean the value to the O’s of pitchers just went up ?

Maybe the O’s become a little more sane about the value of 5 year controlled pitchers versus one year of a 3B.

Moustakas is going to get a multi-year deal from someone. The Mets would probably give Moustakas a 3-year deal for $60M before he’d take a one year deal with the Yanks.

The Yanks need a guy who can to get on base and be driven in by all the HRs. Moustakas with a lifetime OBA of .305 is not that guy.

The Yanks need a guy who can to get on base and be driven in by all the HRs. Moustakas with a lifetime OBA of .305 is not that guy.

A signing of Moose would probably require them to salary dump Gardner.

One thing that would be interesting, he would be the third “Moose” on the Yankees in the last sixty years.  That seems like a lot.  The Yankees never had Moose Haas or Bob Moose.  .. or Andre Dupont or Moose Vasko.

Where are you guys getting salary numbers. I’m under the impression the Yankees have ~25MM or so to spend.

Cots keeps track of it in a spreadsheet.  One for each team.


Buried toward the bottom of the tab “Yankees Tax Tracker” is “Est. Player Benefits” of $14,044,600.  That counts toward the luxury tax threshold.  That takes it from the $167M you’ve seen elsewhere to $181M.  The threshold is $197M.

Yeah, Carlos Santana just got 3/60. Even with the 3B market sort of in a weird state, Moustakas is going to get plenty of money and years.

[10] And what is a typical/reasonable amount to leave unused in case of in-season additions to the payroll? Is this already being accounted for?

[12] No, it is not being accounted for.

If I were the Yankees, I would try to aim for a ~15MM cushion for a midseason trade or two.

Basically, unless the Yankees make a move to shed salary, they are probably done making significant moves for the winter.

Giants acquire Evan Longoria for Denard Span and some no-name prospects.

[12] I mean, what could the Yankees possibly trade for mid-season?  A $20M player for a half-season costs you $10M, a $10M player would cost you $5M, etc.,

Grabbing Robertson and Frazier added something like $10-13M to the payroll last year.  Adding Gray added $2-3M.

So yeah, $15M is probably about what you want to have.

They could still sign Frazier if he is in the 10-15 million range and leave 10-15 million for the mid season trade deadline.

My eyes are glazing over with all these numbers.  If I understand the comments, the current total including player benefits is $181M and they need a $15M cushion for mid-season signings and trades.  That adds up to $196M.  Given a limit $197, they cannot afford to add an infielder or another SP.

The conclusion seems to be that they plan to gain more salary flexibility by trading one or more players.

[17] I assume they would trade Robertson or Betances.  Maybe Ellsbury if some team is willing to take on say $10M per year on him.

Unless he’s planning on giving a hometown discount to a town that isn’t his hometown, it doesn’t make sense.

Something’s going to happen.  You can’t roll with Andujar, Torres, and a still-hasn’t-played-a-full season Bird as 3/4 of your infield.  I’m not smart enough to guess what might happen, but yeah, I think Betances is traded to clear space.

[20] The Yankees rolled into 2017 with Judge in RF (after his pretty bad 2016 debut), Bird at 1B after basically a full year of no baseball, Gary Sanchez behind the plate with no real backup, Severino coming off a terrible year as their #3/#4 and Jordan Montgomery of sub 300 professional innings as their #5 starter.

They might actually be OK going into 2018 with some question marks in the infield. I’m certainly more confident with the team as it is now than I was in the team during ST last year.

[16] Don’t forget they are still looking for another SP as well and need to handle raises for arbitration players.

If it’s Frazier or Moustakas @ $15m I’m taking Moustakas. If Frazier is willing to take less, then he’s the guy.

Most likely Cash is trying to get rid of Ellsbury’s contract so he can sign a SP (unless the plan is to trade for a cost-controlled SP), sign a 3B (Frazier), and leave money left over for the trade deadline.

I don’t trust Bird to stay healthy so it would be nice to have someone like Headley around unless the plan is to get a decent backup C and have Sanchez play 1B.

[22] I believe that most of these estimates include estimated arbitration raises.

Even if they move Ellsbury, there might be only about $6m a year savings because he probably isn’t worth more than that in terms of AAV unless they attach a prospect to him, and I would be reticent to do that.

[23] So that probably makes dumping Ellsbury less important outside of the 25-man spot. I don’t think the Yankees can expect more than $7-10m of relief annually for that albatross.

I am really curious to see the next move by Cashman. It feels a bit like 2009 again, but I think he needs to make one more splash.

Also, as much as we love Severino, is anyone else worried he’s going to be injured by May? His throwing motion is top-heavy and he seems like an ideal candidate for TJ surgery. I hope I’m wrong, but if he’s requested in a blockbuster I’d probably consider it as his value is about as high as its ever been…

I hear your fear, but you can’t trade a young cost control pitcher who just finished 3rd in the Cy, unless you get super value back…like another young cost controlled pitcher who is really good. In which case why is the other team doing that?

[25] I am even more pessimistic than you are.  Trading Ellsbury looks really hard.  Cashman would need to find a team that wants to take on 3 years (plus a buyout) for some significant amount of money.  Ellsbury might be worth $6 - $10M in 2018, but he’s unlikely to be worth 3 times that for the next 3 years.  Also, Ellsbury would have to relinquish his No Trade clause. Maybe the best chance to trade him would be if injury forces a contender during the season to suddenly need a CF.

[27] Yeah, I can’t see any team taking him unless the Yankees are covering 95% of his contract. So, unless they plan to stand pat, the only moves to dump salary are to move Hicks or TPBG with a couple prospects for another SP or infielder.

Ellsbury becomes the 4th OFer, which if you ignore his awful contract, is currently the perfect role for his skillset. He still covers ground in the OF and can play all three spots. His is still excellent at stealing bases. He can PH and get a catcher’s interference when needed. He can start for a couple weeks if someone is on the 15 day DL.

The only other choice is if they are going to stick with the 19 OFers on the roster is to just cut Smells to free up a 40man/25man spot. (If they actually worked out a trade and he blocked it, I would do that immediately)

Ellsbury isn’t replacement level—he’s about a 2-win player, so a team taking on $10 million/year is getting a decent deal.  I could almost see the Giants doing it.  However, the trouble is that every team in baseball knows the Yankees want out from the contract, so they don’t have leverage.

Damn, you know who worked out surprisingly well? Johnny Damon. I was thinking of seeing if maybe Ellsbury could age like Damon, but Damon actually had himself an under-the-radar really nice career as a Yankee.


Those last two seasons were in his age 34 and 35 seasons!

I didn’t know they were under the radar? Damon mashed while he was a Yankee

We’re talking about trading Severino because he looks like a candidate for TJ? I guess we’re not going to be happy unless there’s an HOFer at every position. Judge and Sanchez is fungible too since they only have about a full season under their belts. Let’s trade them for Machado and Harper!

[31] That SB of third in the WS…

[30] Man, I would not have expected that given his precipitous decline on defense. But he really did hit as a Yankee.

Shoot, I barely remember Damon except that we always made fun of his arm. 

Is WAR context-adjusted?  Because that was the tail end of a high-offense era.  It must be, right?

Is WAR context-adjusted?  Because that was the tail end of a high-offense era.  It must be, right?

Yes, the “replacement player” is based on the context of the time.

Man, I would not have expected that given his precipitous decline on defense. But he really did hit as a Yankee.

Yeah, that’s what shocked me. He was barely doing anything on defense and still dropping a 4 bWAR as a 35 year old! That’s insane!

Sexy calfs.

Damon was great defensively in left-field in ‘08. Really, really great. It was puzzling why he totally fell apart defensively in ‘09. Just age catching up over a year. But he hit so great it did not really matter. Overall that was an excellent contract. One down year in ‘07, and it was really just a brutal first half. Damon was back by the August ‘07. Ah, the times we’ve known.

Speedy outfielders do suddenly lose their wheels in their 30s. This is one of the main reasons I’d be cool trading Gardner now. Also why Ellsbury is close to untradeable.

Apparently what I said is false, though I think the methodology of those studies may be flawed.  It doesn’t seem to factor in that a player falling off a cliff doesn’t stay in the OF very long.  I also have a general objection to UZR since it is essentially a black box that we have to trust one man to have done good math to produce.

The other studies are more anecdotal than not, though they are compelling.

Ellsbury has a NTC, right? I thought he already made it clear he plans to stay in NY.

While he DID say that, it could have just been posturing. You would think a player who can still play decent ball like Ellsbury would prefer to start than be the fifth outfielder.

I suppose he could be posturing in hopes of being offered something extra to agree to a trade.  But, what could they offer him?  He’s making so much money that an extra million or two would mean little.  And, since the point of the trade would be to free up salary, where would the extra money come from?

Maybe a guarantee that he’d be a starter on the new team?

I think he’s hoping for specifically a starting job on a contender.

Damon was very similar to Brett Gardner. They were both former CF’s playing LF, both with 15-25 homer power, both maintained a lot of value on the bases without posting the flashy stolen base totals of their younger days. Gardner’s defense is better, Damon’s offense was better, but if you add it all up, each were consistent 4WAR level players.

Ellsbury might consider waiving his NTC for certain teams. Including the Giants.

You see?  I say it, Heyman writes it.

How in the world you sign Ellsubry to that contract and also give him a NTC that’s just one of those things I can’t believe it happened

That contract was always a mystery.

The Giants always seem to get that last burst of value from guys on the downside like Grissom, Pagan, Huff, Durham, Scutaro, etc. I figured them for a team that would take Ellsbury.

Ellsbury for Cano would fit under HalCap, right?

For those of us who think Cashman is a top GM—and I’m one of them—let’s not forget that he also wanted to sign Choo that offseason IN ADDITION to Ellsbury.

Regarding the potential for rookies at second and third—yeah they went with Judge and Bird last year, but expectations are different now.  Instead of a growning pains season it turned out nearly a championship season.  Maybe the Yankees are okay with more rookies but I still think we’ll see a cheap vet manning at least one position.  Todd Frazier’s market seems to be cratering…

Man, the Giants are just crazy enough that I could see them being willing to trade for Ellsbury.

And now there are Darvish rumors. Lot of money for a No. 2/3 guy.

[55] Do you think Yu is as low as a 3?

Just a couple seasons ago, he was a legit 1 but had the injury (Was it TJS?) and when he came back he’s been good to great but not amazing. You think 2017 Yu is the new normal?

Serious question because I’m not sure myself. Because he is 31 and has thrown a ton of pitches/innings going back to Japan. But his FB velocity has IMPROVED during his time in America and his slider continues to be a devastating pitch.

EDIT: Edit to add, I wouldn’t want to sign him.

Anyone else think baseball (and all sports) has a looming Weinstein situation?  And that once the floodgates open, it’ll be shocking?

And Cole rumors are Cold.

57 Isaiah Thomas for one.

[57] Just about every industry has a looming Weinstein situation. But yes, I would imagine sports would be even more prolific than most, unfortunately.

[50] Hal & Hank conversing: It is how dad would have done it, steal him from the Red Sox.

[53] - Careful or Cashman will have you thrown in a cell next to Enes Kanter.

Buster Olney
Buster Olney
The Yankees have been digging into background/scouting on Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin, one of the starting pitching options they’ve considered. He had a strong second half in 2017; eligible for FA after 2018.

Not sure they should give up any of the better prospects for one year of control of a non-elite pitcher.

[64] Even if it brings a chance to shed Smellsbury, freeing up monies for…um….hmmm.

64 Prefer to Cole and probably cheaper.

Why would the D’Backs trade Corbin though?  Don’t they expect to make a run at the wild card again?

67 True but looks like the Yankees think there’s something there.

Is Gerrit Cole really that good?

[67] they seem to be in a $ bind. Corbin is kind of expensive.

Cole had a solid HR/9 until 2017 when it ballooned to 1.4 per.

Feinsand Cole talks are hot.
Heyman Yanks want to headline Frazier, Bucs Gleyber. Fat chance
Passan Bucs motivated to get a deal done. Yankees most likely landing spot more matter of when then if.

Now the trade for Cole looks back on. They want Torres, we want to give ‘em Frazier.

Thing is, we already have too many OF, and we still want to see what we have with the IF’ers.

If they insist on Torres, make them take Smells as part of the deal.

I hope Ugly Johnny is at least mollified, if not fully sated, by all the wheeling and/or dealing that is taking place.

“There just no pleasing some people.” - Jesus

73 No they can not have Gleyber. Period! It would take a Kershaw or a Kluber to get Gleyber.

There’s no combination of players on the Pirates’ roster I’d trade Torres for. That ain’t happening. I think its going to be either Cole or Darvish on an incentive laden deal. Should be interesting.

[56] i think on the yankees, he would slot in behind sevvy and tanaka. And he was a 3 in LA. i would expect him to pitch like he did last year moving forward. Mostly decent but with some gnarly blowup starts.

[74]  Wait, what of my complaining is that aimed at?  I’m confused.  It’s late and I’ve taken a drink so maybe I’m just in a blackout.

As we saw last year, Darvish started tipping his pitches and sucked. L.A. thought, “Shit, we could fix that and get him cheap!” They got him cheap and then fixed his pitch-tipping….until he started tipping pitches again in the World Series and sucked.

So it seems like something that a competent organization should be able to fix, right? How do you not teach a guy not to tip pitches?

NY Post “Fred Wilpon was “irate” after learning of Giancarlo Stanton’s recent trade to the Yankees, according to an industry source, continuing a pattern of hand-wringing by the Mets co-owner following a splash by his crosstown rival.

“Fred is pissed every time the Yankees make a move,” said a person who speaks to Wilpon regarding baseball matters. “And he always seems surprised.”

Wilpon, ugh. He sucks so bad.

They should have been forced to sell the Mets after the Madoff affair.

UJD, you recently demanded wheeling and dealing to help you pass the time.

Page 1 of 1 pages:

MLB: Yanks’ Solak thriving in march through Minors
(35 Comments - 1/23/2018 2:22:32 am) Yankees’ bullpen could be best of all time
(55 Comments - 1/22/2018 1:27:39 pm)

NY Post: Yankees bring back lefty to fill bullpen weak spot
(32 Comments - 1/18/2018 10:55:56 am)

NY Post: Aaron Hicks and Tommy Kahnle reach settlements with Yankees
(117 Comments - 1/17/2018 7:19:42 am)

MLBTR: Yu Darvish Choosing Among Six Teams
(46 Comments - 1/12/2018 10:22:53 am)

NYDN: Gerrit Cole to Yankees seems ‘inevitable’ despite Astros’ interest in Pirates pitcher
(88 Comments - 1/11/2018 12:44:51 am)

Dan Szymborski: Yankee Bullpen Projects to be Historically Good
(88 Comments - 1/9/2018 11:26:23 am) Year of the Hitter: List of sluggers ready to rise
(36 Comments - 1/5/2018 10:59:57 am) MLB free agency rumors: Eduardo Nunez to Yankees?
(50 Comments - 1/4/2018 8:57:40 pm)

FanRag: Heyman | Yankees eyeing Yu Darvish
(43 Comments - 1/2/2018 10:48:16 am)