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MLB free agency: Yankees have discussed Mike Moustakas

The Yankees have interest in Mike Moustakas, though they may not have enough payroll flexibility to sign him.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Kansas City Royals Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images

The Yankees have interest in free-agent third baseman Mike Moustakas and discussed him over the past week, as Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. With the Yankees wanting to stay under the luxury tax threshold while still adding more starting pitching depth and leaving room to add at the trade deadline, though, it doesn’t appear likely that they’ll be willing to spend for Moustakas.

The Bronx Bombers could certainly use an experienced third baseman, as 22-year-old Miguel Andujar — a veteran of just eight major-league plate appearances and 250 in Triple-A — is currently their projected starter at third. Veteran utility player Ronald Torreyes and rookies Tyler Wade and Gleyber Torres will also compete for the job, but that trio will also be duking it out for a vacancy at second base.

Moustakas, 29, had a career season in 2017, posting a .272/.314/.521 slash line while breaking the Royals record for home runs in a season with 38. While his defense was lacking at the hot corner — he posted -8 defensive runs saved, third-worst among qualifying major-league third basemen — it’s worth noting that he was working his way back from a torn ACL suffered in May 2016, so he could bounce back defensively in the future.

Earlier in the offseason, it was believed that Moustakas would be in position to earn a three- or four-year deal, but with spring training getting underway in less than two weeks, it seems increasingly likely that Moustakas will have to settle for a one-year contract. That’d be an ideal arrangement for the Yankees if they don’t want to block Andujar for multiple seasons.