Multiple teams, including the Yankees, have at least considered the notion of trading for Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas and shifting him across the diamond to first base, Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports. It’s worth noting that there’s no indication from the report that the Yankees’ interest is especially serious or extends anywhere beyond internal discussions at this point.
Moustakas, 29, stands out as one of the more obvious trade candidates in the league, given his standing as an impending free agent who is playing on an affordable contract (one year, $6.5MM) with a rebuilding Royals club that has already begun to trade away pieces (Kelvin Herrera, Jon Jay). He’s hitting .258/.312/.478 with 16 homers to this point in the 2018 season.
Of course, it should be asked just how much of an upgrade Moustakas would even represent for the Yankees. Despite Greg Bird’s woeful .200 average, his .306 on-base percentage only narrowly trails Moustakas’ .312 mark. Bird walks at a substantially higher clip than Moustakas and has also been more prone to getting hit by pitches in recent seasons, though he’s also much more strikeout-prone (27.3 percent to Moustakas’ 14.9 percent). Bird has also hit for slightly more power, sporting a .219 isolated power (slugging percentage minus batting average) to Moustakas’ .214.
There’s certainly an argument that moving Moustakas from the spacious Kauffman Stadium to Yankee Stadium and its notoriously short right-field porch would significantly boost his home run output. However, Moustakas’ lack of experience at first base, where he’s started just twice in his career, would likely result in a defensive downgrade over Bird.
Beyond all of that are the simple facts that Moustakas hasn’t hit much since mid-May and has been sidelined by back spasms this week. While he got off to a blistering start, Moose is hitting just .212/.292/.384 with six home runs over his past 40 games. He’s swung a bit better in his past five games, but the .299/.331/.531 slash he boasted in mid-May is now a distant memory.
Any trades the Yankees make, of course, need to be viewed through the lens of the competitive balance/luxury tax. New York was adamant about remaining under that $197MM threshold this past offseason and figures to stay on that same course on the summer trade market. The Yankees are roughly $16MM south of that line at this point, so it’s possible that they could add both Moustakas and a starting pitcher, which is rumored to be their top need. Depending on the specific rotation target, though, the Yankees may ask the opposing team to offset some of the financial load.
Alternatively, Morosi suggests a scenario in which the Yankees would ask another club to take on the remainder of Neil Walker’s $4MM contract in trades, which would have a similar effect on their bottom-line as relates to the luxury tax but would also require an improved prospect package. Indeed, the surprisingly poor play of Walker, who’d been a consistently solid offensive performer over the past eight seasons, is a large part of the reason the Yankees even need to entertain somewhat outside-the-box thoughts like adding Moustakas as a first-base option. Walker missed much of Spring Training while trying to find a deal in free agency and has never gotten on track in 2018, batting just .188/.268/.259 through his first 190 trips to the plate as a Yankee.
Ultimately, Moustakas doesn’t seem like a great fit for the Yankees or even a definitive upgrade over what Bird can bring to the table. The two have similar on-base and power numbers, with Bird representing a superior defensive option even if he’s more prone to strikeouts. Plus, if Bird’s .239 BABIP improves — which isn’t a given, considering his .251 career mark and extreme susceptibility to pull shifts in 2018 (56.9 percent pull rate) — he could even wind up with better OBP numbers than Moustakas.
Still, the fact that clubs are considering Moustakas as a first base option is nonetheless of note, as it could open the door for him to land with a club that might not have initially looked to be a fit at first glance.
It’s for 1B
Are you saying they should trade Andujar for Moustakas? No thanks.
Or did you not read the article?
I didn’t bother reading it but I figured they meant for 3rd base but we have Andujar. Bird, Austin, Drury, and Walker can play 1st so I don’t get this article.
It says as first base option… in the title you didn’t read anything apparently
GTFO didn’t read it lol come on man
Yeah, reading is for morons. Better to just type or speak.
That’s how they must do it in Raytown
I don’t think he read the article
Lmao that would be the biggest heist of all time. Moose would be lucky to return Medina/Adams, and that’s extremely unlikely
Agreed and Adams is a stretch some low A ball guys most likely
please no, yankees
You do realize Moose is a proven playoff commodity right?? If you don’t see how a left handed power bat could benefit your team at Yankees stadium in October you’re crazy my brother.
They should have signed him on one year deal in the first place.
I’m crazy. How proven is Moose really? He’s an above average bat. Nothing more or less. Not worth sacrificing ABs for Bird in my opinion. Hell I don’t even know if he’s a much better option than Tyler Austin.
Are we talking about the same Greg Bird fighting to hit .200 each of the past two seasons?
I disagree. Moustakas has hit well in the playoffs and would be an obvious upgrade over Walker/Austin.. If the Royals took Walker back they could get a decent lottery ticket in return. Someone like Sauer makes sense, while adding McKinney for taking Walker.
Bird could be optioned to AAA until he figures out how to hit again. He is still the best long term option in my opinion but he has hardly played the last few years and seems to have a ton of rust he needs to shake off. I left that out of my comment above.
As a long time Royals fan & watch many games, trust me when I say that Moustakas would hit 40-50 HR’s in that park…
Problem is (much like Brian McCann) Moose would get even MORE pull happy & bat under .200 facing exacerbated shifts
Moustakas isn’t really pull-happy right now. His 42.2 percent pull rate isn’t even two percent higher than the league average, and his opposite-field rate (25.2 percent) is right in line with the league average.
Really, his spray chart is probably among the closest in the game to league average that there is. 1.5% more balls pulled than average, 1.5% fewer than average to center and the exact league average to the opposite field.
And McCann’s average dropped in his final couple seasons with the Yankees because his strikeout rate soared, not because of his pull rate. He’s puling the ball less than he has in a decade with the Astros right now and having his worst offensive season ever.
Yes, but his approach would change THERE IMO…
Teixeira admitted he got pull-happy.
Don’t let facts get in the way of your opinion…
His opinion states that with the switch to Yankee stadium he would start puling the ball more, which is likely (in his opinion) because Moose being such a power hitter will smile at seeing the short RF porch in half of his remaining games. It’s an opinion that makes some sense.
40-50 HRs over 2 sesons
Seems like a good move for the Yanks.
You could add another power threat to the lineup if you are the Yankees. Go to the postseason with a starting IF of Andujar-Didi-Torres-Moustakas, OF of Stanton-Judge-Hicks, Sanchez at C, and then choose what you want from your DH in Bird or Gardner. Obviously you would prefer to play stanton at DH but If you decide you want bird in over Gardner that’s how you’d play it.
I thought Yankee stadium would boost Ellbsury’s power. That didn’t quite work out.
He can’t stay on the field long enough to find out.
Curious why the Yankees aren’t knocking down the White Sox door for Abreu. Obviously, they’d prefer a left handed bat- but, Moustakes is an injury risk and 1st base is not his natural position. Jose is far more consistent than Moose and will likely end the season (again) with a .290+ BA, 32+HR and 100+ RBI. Seems like a great match that would instantly give them an edge in a very tough race against Boston.
Too much of a prospect cost. They need a starter.
The White Sox could play Palka, Davidson or recall Skole. They are rebuilding, and losing games isn’t a big deal for them. I have a hard time imagining that Kansas wouldn’t want to cash in on Moustakes anyway and the Yankees need to do something big to fight off Boston. Yanks are 1 ill-timed injury away from loosing a foothold.
1. The rebuild is over. The Yankees are in a tight divisional race in the toughest division in all of baseball.
2. How can you possibly consider the Yankees a “rebuilding” team at this point when they are basically bumping right up against the luxury tax ceiling?
He was speaking of the White Sox Rebuilding
I was referring to the White Sox as rebuilding
The Red Sox are more of a “1 ill-timed injury” risk than the Yankees are. If something were to happen to Betts or Kimbrel they would have a very small chance of being able to trade for someone to match their production. DD has decimated their farm. If something happens to Sale no way they keep up with the Yankees.
The Red Sox are only a few million away from dropping 10 slots in the draft. On top of having a pretty shallow prospect pool.
The Yankees on the other hand have the prospect capital to add just about anyone they choose.
The Red Sox need to fire Dombrowski and offer the President of Baseball Ops job to Hoyer. DD seems to be stuck in 2005 and doesn’t seem to accept how the team building approach has advanced in the last decade
They definitely need a starter and they need to get rid of Gray
Too high of a price to pay for a player at a position that isn’t a glaring need
I don’t see this trade happening, Cashman is just distracting the opposition. Pitching is his target right now!
no. if Yanks don’t care about defense then just put drury there without giving up anything
No need for getting Moustakas… Yanks have plenty of young talent options – trade for Starting Pitchers is a MUST to go deep in post season.
Trade bait they have… sans untouchables.
The Twins would probably pick up most of Joe Mauer’s contract if the Yankees and Joe agree that he should be playing 1B for them. Give Joe a chance at a World Series. Step right up: Just a nice prospect in return to play.
Joe Mauer is a singles hitting slap hitter. He’s not even an upgrade.
A curious article, that seems to be a bit of a stretch, suggesting that Birds days at first are at the point where the Yankees feel as if they need to either make a change, or have a different backup plan other than internal, in case Bird continues his hitting woes!
No mention of what it would cost the Yankees in prospects and definitely a short term fix which is why I question why the Yankees would even consider this given their attention towards acquiring pitching with those very assets it would cost for Moose.
And my biggest question is that he has zero experience (a couple of games is nothing) at first so your sacrificing defense for potentially greater offense, and we all know that in the playoffs pitching and defense with timely hitting is what wins games.
How much do you think Moose will cost? People joke about trading Tyler Wade or Tyler Austin in deals all the time but I honestly don’t think it’d cost much more than that and some 18 year old dart throw.
Less than Ellsbury lol.
It doesn’t hurt Cashman to kick the tires on a number of scenarios. Plus, whenever the Yankees are rumored to be interested in a player it sends ripples throughout other MLB GM’s.
Id see this as contingency planning. If they cannot make the moves they want, they can still add versatility and depth to the team while remaining under the luxury tax. Moose fits that bill filling a role as a left handed power bat. Solid move at the right price if needed.
Can we please ignore Morosi from now on? Thanks.
It’d be easier to ignore you from now on. Thanks.
Todd Frazier back?
Toddfather > Moose.
No he’s not. Are you guys even bothering to look at their totals?
Bird is a AAAA player.
If I were the Yankees, I would focus my available (under the CBT) funds and prospect wealth on high quality starting pitching. Moose might be an answer for some other teams, but I can’t see him as a priority for the Yankees.
Forget Moose. Yanks should go after Hamels and Beltre. Take care of rotation and provide great clubhouse leadership
They have Gardner for the leadership, Beltre and Hamels are downgrades anyway.
If you packaged a deal of Moose and Duffy, it would be more beneficial in the long run for the Yankees to consider, considering Duffy’s ERA on the road is 4.28 & hitters are only hitting .263 against him as well, which means he pitches better away from Kauffman Stadium. Not to mention Duffy’s numbers are deceiving when you look at them, he is pitching for the worse team in the American League and he is a much better pitcher, than what his numbers suggest. As for Moose, he would be more productive overall in the Bronx full-time, as he is a left handed hitter and would benefit big time with the short porch!! It’s definitely a good idea to kick the tires on this possible trade, especially since Bird seems to need more conditioning, and shipping him down to AAA would benefit him and the Yankees long term, as I am not giving up on the “Bird Man”, but my patients for Walker is, unfortunately, especially since he has had more than enough time to figure it out in the BRONX, but it seems as though his career is pretty much done or he just needs a new change of scenery altogether!!!
I think Walkers problem is not getting consistent at bats. Something that will never go away in NY.
Get outa here with that Duffy crap, one his contact would be overpaying Two “hitters are only hitting .263 against him” that’s horrible and above league average. So a hard pass.
I’d rather stick with Bird and just let him play the full season at 1b. The Yanks have been saying how much faith they have in him. We have 7 guys on pace for more than 20 hrs this year. We can carry Bird’s bat until he comes around, and if not, then move him. The focus and assets should strictly be limited to pitching.
Eh, i dont see where he would be an upgrade over current options. Rather have Bird, Tyler Austin, and Drury at 1B than to give up anything for Moose. Unless somehow they ship Neil Walker out for Moose then i guess its no harm no foul but still
What are you talking about Moose has better stats then all those guys. BA, OBP, HR, RBI ,OPS
Ok, hes also had more ABs than all of them. Bird has been back for about a month or so, Drury just came back maybe last week, and Austin didnt play much for the time he was up. Of course somebody thats played everyday is going to have better numbers, doesnt make them better players. Look at Birds walk rate, his peripherals show that he should start coming around any time now. Id rather take my chances on a full season of Bird, Drury, and Austin than pay prospects and more money to get Moose
New Yorkers may object, but if Cashman is talking to KC about just a bat then Duda may be just as good an acquisition as Moustakas and could probably be had for Neil Walker, a fringe prospect, and the difference between Duda and Walker’s 2018 salaries.
Then again, Moustakas and Duda are only a little better than Greg Bird right now and Bird is only a little better than Logan Morrison. No moves involving just Moustakas, Duda, or even Morrison are likely to move the needle much.
Cashman is sending a message to Bird they have given him the keys without really making him work for it like they made Sanchez, Judge, Severino and Andujar all were not guaranteed a job and were sent to minors when they struggled or didn’t make it out of spring training as a starter.
Bird is Nick Johnson 2.0 so much promise and talent but given the reins without making him earn it. He is not fully recovered and it will best suit Bird to be sent down the Yankees have options internally to man first base but kicking the tires on Moustakas won’t be a good idea.
If they want to replace with another left handed hitter I rather they pry away Justin Bour from Miami but again the Yankees have plenty of plug ins and their actual focus should be on starting pitching and possibly adding another bullpen horse to shorten the game.
Andujar got the job because of Drury’s migraines. Sanchez has been god awful this year at the plate and especially defensively. Moose would be the much needed power lefty in the lineup to breakup Stanton and Judge, that is what they hoped Bird would provide. “the Yankees have plenty of plug ins” no one they have as good as Moose.
Andujar shouldve been given the job out of spring training, and only earned (in the eyes of the FO) it after he showed month after month that he belongs there over Drury.
Sanchez hasnt been “God awful” either. Theres more to baseball than passed balls and batting average. Check his average exit velo. He has been hitting the ball hard but got unlucky for weeks before his injury.
Give Bird some more time and stop knee jerking. They have enough lefty power internally. Didi has 19 HR and Bird had a 2 HR day the other day.
First of all Didi has 15 HR. Second passed balls aren’t the only thing that is wrong with Sanchez’s defense this year and as for you saying “check his average exit velocity” that has nothing to do with anything if he’s not hitting them where they ain’t.
Bird has been back plenty of time to realize he’s not ready or completely healed to handle big league pitching. I’m not saying cut ties with the guy just send him down to Scranton for awhile to get his swing back, because he didn’t have much rehab time and was rushed back. This lineup is horrible against good RH pitching such as the Astros and could use a way more consistent LH bat. By the way Romine is doing a fantastic job and Sanchez can take all the time he wants before coming back.
Dude Sanchez is carrying a 0.9 WAR and an .291 OBP.
Oh true, I dont know who I confused Didi’s HR count with. But still, 15 HR from him and 15 from Hicks paired with the pop Bird has is enough from the left side that the Yankees dont have to spend to get more.
The mention of Gary Sanchez’s exit velocity was to show that he is hitting the ball hard but is getting unlucky. He has a DRS of 1, which means that even with all the past balls he still saves 1 more run than the average defensively. Its only that low because of the passed balls. Now, his pitch framing is well above average as his Strike Zone Runs Saved nets a 3, his Adjusted Earned Runs Saved nets a 1, and his Stolen Base Runs Saved nets a 1. https://www.rotowire.com/baseball/player.htm?id=11159
His pop time and arm strength are also pluses, as he has a pop time around 1.89s and throws around 90MPH.
Austin Romine has an OPS of .258 since Sanchez got hurt and only a .523 OPS in the entire month of June. I dont know if you would consider that a fantastic job. Romine has done this exact same thing last year, where early in the season he impresses with his bat and then as the season progress his bat fizzles. He is still a great backup catcher though, but if you would rather he be there all season over Sanchez then i just cant agree. It has been a rough start to the season statistically from an batting average standpoint, but other than that he is still the same Gary Sanchez of 2016 and 2017 and his average should come around. His OBP is .100 over his BA, so when he gets his average up to .260-270 like it should be, his OBP will be nearing .400 which will make for a gaudy OPS in the 800’s which gave him a SS award in 2017.
Greg Bird needed about a half a month to a month to start getting back in the swing of things in 2017. From Aug 24th 2017 to Sep 14th 2017 he had a slash line of .209/.255/.349. From there he picked it up with a slashline of .295/.373/.795 from Sept 15th 2017 to Oct. 1 2017. He then went on to have an OPS of .921 in the postseason facing the games best pitchers. Its been about a month now, and he is starting to put together better games. there have been a lot of encouraging signs with Greg Bird. His walk rate stands at at a 10.7%, which is very good. Over the entire coarse of the season, there has been only one instance where theres been two games in a row where he hasnt drawn a walk and that was on Jun 27, Jun 29, and July 1 (june 29 was the 2 HR game against Boston, so it wasnt all bad.). Over the coarse of the last week or so he has had a slash line of .263/.364/.579 for an OPS of .943 https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.fcgi?id=birdgr01&t=b&year=2018#121-126-sum:batting_gamelogs
Dont give up on Bird and Sanchez. I know your knee is jerking but the numbers are saying that they are starting to trend upwards.
Right, like i said, he has been very unlucky and its still early in the season. Theres not much you can do when you scorch the ball just for the fielder to be right there. In baseball theres a fair amount of luck involved and Sanchez has been incredibly unlucky as of late. Baseball is not even a game of inches, its a game of millimeters. Are you really about to tell me that a player is bad because of an aberration in the numbers (which is a smaller sample size than his averages)?
The measure simply shows that he’s hitting the ball hard. What player has the ability to “hit em where they’re not”? I think bad luck has SOMEthing to do about it but it wouldn’t explain everything. Maybe it’s the use of the shift and he hasn’t learned to adjust?
Its a possibility that teams are shifting against him well. I would need to see how much he is being shifted against and compare it to how much he was shifted against last season before i make such conclusions. To my knowledge, i cant recall too many shifts against him since he doesnt mind hitting into the right field gap as much as pulling a HR. Its not like with McCann or Texeria, where you know where theyre trying to hit it
(I would also like to point out that i used the wrong ‘course’… i used “coarse” instead of “course” in my other post and i really want to edit it lol)
Moose is still the better offensive player, as singles are more valuable than walks or HBPs, but yeah with the defensive downgrade it may still not be worth it for the Yankees to make the move.
Maybe the Yankees were checking in on Duffy and Moose came up as well. Based on the return they got for Herrera the Royals appear to value shedding payroll over acquiring prospects.