Free-agent third baseman Mike Moustakas won’t be pursued by the New York Mets, according to general manager Sandy Alderson.
“Well, it’s possible what he’ll end up doing is signing a one-year contract,” Alderson said of Moustakas, per David Lennon of Newsday. “I don’t know. There are a couple of things involved there. One is draft-choice compensation and loss of international pool money. Both of which are key to us improving what is now a less robust farm system, so we’ve got to be careful there.”
Moustakas, who turned down a qualifying offer from the Kansas City Royals after hitting .272 with a career-high 38 home runs and 85 RBI, would cost the Mets not only the value of his contract but their second-highest selection in the 2018 MLB Draft and $500,000 in international bonus pool money.
That would help explain why the Mets don’t want Moustakas, as he would simply cost too much. Already this offseason the Mets have given a three-year, $39 million contract to Jay Bruce and a two-year, $14 million deal to Anthony Swarzak. They have also brought Jose Reyes back on a one-year deal and signed Adrian Gonzalez. None of those players carried the same kind of extra cost that Moustakas does.
With Moustakas off the table, the biggest question for the Mets right now is who will play third base, given David Wright‘s uncertain health status. Signing free agents Eduardo Nunez, Neil Walker (who would likely play second base), and Todd Frazier remain possibilities, as does trading for Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison.
We’ll have to wait and see where Moustakas ends up, but it most likely won’t be in New York, as the Yankees likely won’t be able to afford him and stay under the $197 luxury tax threshold.