While the New York Yankees seem to be putting all their chips in on star free agent Manny Machado, it might be a good idea to have a plan B, just in case the interest amounts to nothing.
If Machado joins the Yankees, they might have the intention of potentially starting him at short stop, his natural position, while Didi Gregorius heals from Tommy John surgery. Gregorius will be a free agent in the winter of 2019, which opens up a long-term option for the Yankees with Machado at SS if they choose to go that route.
But, if New York can’t manage to secure his signature, they might be intelligent to begin exploring other options, one of which would be Mike Moustakas.
Why would Mike Moustakas fit the bill for the New York Yankees?
Moustakas is a 30 year-old, eight-year veteran who has played on two different teams in his career. He boasts a career slash of .251/.307/.737. The last two-years of his career have been on par or better with his career averages, while enjoying far more home runs — 38 & 28 homers in 2017-18 — his boost in power might be attractive to a Yankees team that seems to be keen on bringing in hitters with power.
The infielder signed a meager one-year, $6.5 million deal last winter to return to the Kansas City Royals, where he evidently ended up with the Milwauki Brewers. In 2018, he finished with a 105 wRC+, his lowest since 2014.
One of the more attractive aspects of Moustakas is that he’s a lefty hitter – something the Yankees are lacking in their lineup. He could slot right in at the 5th or 6th hitters spot and offer some value while Didi is rehabbing. Additionally, Moustakas hit a majority of his home runs to the right side of the field, which would be beneficial at Yankee Stadium, being that the right-field wall is only 330 feet down the line.
The bottom line, if Machado isn’t available, the Yankees are going to need somebody to fill in for Didi, and Moustakas could be the perfect fit.