There is a fear bubbling that the New York Yankees could lose DJ LeMahieu to the New York Mets, as owner Steve Cohen has committed to turning a flawed team and organization into a winning franchise.
The Mets have been inconsistent and failed to put together a competent team, but Cohen has the checkbook and professionalism to change that overnight. This upcoming free agency period is going to be intense, as the Yankees attempt to retain LeMahieu and add a starting pitcher to complement Gerrit Cole. Of course, the usual rumors of Francisco Lindor and potentially a star catcher signing will circle, but their priority is the start second baseman.
The New York Yankees have some good news of the DJ front:
Recent reports have indicated that DJ is willing to stay in pinstripes for a cheaper deal but insists that five years is a reasonable timeline on a new contract. He signed a two-year, $24 million deal back in 2019 and has been stellar with the Yankees ever since. He won the batting title this past season and the Silver Slugger award. He has three Gold Gloves to his name and the capability to play multiple defensive spots in the infield, which is where his value really reaches its pinnacle.
I would be surprised if a team like the Mets were against signing LeMahieu, which is why fear is brewing. However, I don’t believe Cohen is targeting the Yankees as their prime competitors, considering how helpful they were in pushing his ownership through. Yankees ownership was extremely happy to support Cohen in his bid for the Mets, and I don’t think he is keen on shoving it in their face at this point in time.
“I’m not competing against the Yankees. This is the Mets. We’re going to create our own environment. I’m competing against 29 other clubs in MLB,” Cohen said in his introductory press conference.
It is clear that LeMahieu desires the Bronx, and if he’s willing to take less money but wants more years, the Yankees shouldn’t hesitate. At the end of his contract, he will still be a star defensive player, even if his bat dampens a bit.
Considering he hit .364 this past season, even if his BA dropped to .275 in the fifth year of his deal, he would still be considered an above-average player with extreme value. That’s simply the reality of how good LeMahieu is and his importance to the Bombers.
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