After two straight top-4 MVP finishes with the New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu is one of the most sought after free agents in the market. While he is due for a big payday, he still remains one of the most undervalued stars in baseball.
In the modern MLB, DJ LeMahieu is an extremely rare breed. Where more and more hitters are taking an all-or-nothing approach, LeMahieu just wants to put the ball in play. As a result, he has a league-leading .336 batting average over the past two seasons, and took home the AL batting title in 2020.
When the New York Yankees signed him to a two-year, $24 million deal in 2019, he wasn’t even expected to be an everyday starter. However, he immediately took advantage of his opportunities and made himself an invaluable piece at the top of an already potent Yankees lineup. That deal might go down as GM Brian Cashman’s best in terms of return on investment.
Now, LeMahieu is a free agent again. This time, he will certainly require a much higher price tag. The New York Yankees have the money to retain him, but will face significant competition from spend-ready teams like the Blue Jays, Mets, and Nationals. In reality, any team could benefit from Lemahieu’s services, so don’t be surprised if some unlikely teams emerge as potential suitors.
So, now that LeMahieu’s elite production is no secret, how can he still be one of the most undervalued players in baseball? MLB.com ranked DJ as the 4th overall free agent in this year’s class, behind J.T. Realmuto, Trevor Bauer, and George Springer. Given Lemahieu’s age at 32 and a general trend away from his style of play in the MLB, It is likely he will earn less than his free agent peers. However, the numbers suggest his value should actually be higher than what the market will give him.
Here are three reasons why should be at the top of every GM’s list