One of the New York Yankees‘ main priorities this offseason is to re-sign second baseman DJ LeMahieu. That may have just been more difficult with the entrance of Steve Cohen, the new owner of the Mets, who has just lost his second baseman Robinson Cano to drug suspension for the entire 2021 season.
We have learned from a couple of sources that the Yankees may have a better chance of having LeMahieu remain in pinstripes than recently may have been thought. We have learned through his agent, the Wasserman Media Group, LeMahieu wants a five-year deal giving him playing security until he is 37 years old. This will definitely be DJ’s last chance to cash in on this excellent play in his career.
Both Michael Kay of the YES Network has echoed the five-year requirement, among others. It is still unclear how much money he wants. Experts assume it will be in the $20 million areas per year. So if he gets what he wants, it will be a $100 million contract. Kay has also indicated that his sources say the Yankees when they negotiate, will look for a three-year contract for a similar amount of money that DJ might ask for. Kay has also suggested the result is more likely to be a compromise for a four-year deal.
There is every indication that the New York Yankees will do everything they can to re-sign their award-winning second baseman. Since general manager, Brian Cashman lured him away from the Colorado Rockies before the 2019 season, that LeMahieu has been everything the Yankees could have wanted and much more for relatively cheap. The Yankees will not have to pay up if they want to keep him leading off at Yankee Stadium.
Some have said that the Mets might not be that big of a threat to outbid the Yankees for LeMahieu’s services. Rather they will put their money to get George Springer from the Astros to fill an opening in centerfield when they move Jeff McNeil back to his natural position of second base to fill in for Cano. Cano isn’t a free agent until the end of the 2022 season. However, due to his drug suspension, the Mets will explore their options to end his contract.
Even if the Mets are out of the picture, making a serious pitch for LeMahieu, he won’t be without suitors. It is believed that anywhere from eight to ten teams have shown an interest in LeMahieu. The Yankees may have a possible edge because LeMahieu likes New York and likes playing for the Yankees. He has in the past indicated that he wants to stay with the Yankees.
How LeMahieu got to the New York Yankees is an interesting one. After being selected by the Cubs in the 2009 draft, his Cubs career didn’t last as the Cubs traded LeMahieu to the Colorado Rockies in 2011. In May of the following year, he was called up to replace an injured player. He recorded his career-best four-hit game against the Brewers for a 9-6 Rockies win in August. Later in August, LeMahieu wrote his name into the record books, as he recorded 12 assists in a 9-inning victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers on the 28th. He was a 2015 All-Star, and in 2016 LeMahieu won the National League batting title. His .348 season average led all of Major League Baseball. He was a 2017 All-Star, and in 2018 he was named the best defensive player in all of the majors.
LeMahieu then signed the two-year $24 million contract with the Yankees. In 2019, He was a Silver Slugger at second base and quickly became one of Yankees’ most popular. This past season, he was again a Silver Slugger and won the batting title, hitting .364 with 10 homers and 27 RBIs. He had a 1.011 OPS and a .590 slugging percentage while having one of the best balls to strike out baseball ratios. His batting title win made him the only player to win the title in both leagues.
The New York Yankees may wait until later in the offseason to make most of their moves to improve the team due to lacking clarity as to what the 2021 season will look like. But if they make any decisions/moves early, it will most likely be to keep DJ LeMahieu in pinstripes.
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