DJ LeMahieu and the New York Yankees have yet to come to a contract agreement. The pressure weighs far greater on the Yanks to bring him back.
The New York Yankees‘ negotiations with infielder DJ LeMahieu seem to be losing steam. According to yahoo sports, LeMahieu ‘has become dismayed by the slow-play tactics of the Yankees.’ He’s therefore rekindled talks with other interested teams. Suddenly, what we assumed was a given is at risk of not happening at all.
The short 2020 season and the current state of MLB have nearly every organization cutting payroll, including the New York Yankees. The Yanks intend on staying below the $210 million luxury tax threshold as well.
For once, the biggest brand in the sport is unwilling to spend or do “whatever it takes” to compete for a championship. No one has been more affected by the Yankees’ aberrant offseason approach than 32-year-old LeMahieu.
One would think New York, a team that has reached the ALCS two of the last for years and remains a legitimate threat in their respective league, would be doing “whatever it takes” to fill voids and tie up loose ends. One would think they’d be relentless in their efforts to re-sign their best player.
The 2021 roster is fragile. They lost Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton to free agency, and their current starting rotation is nothing to feel strongly about beyond Gerrit Cole. Their offense still projects as outstanding, but there’s a question as to whether it can prevail against advanced pitching in October, given its swing-and-miss tendencies and overreliance on the long ball. Not to mention, certain thumpers like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have a difficult time staying healthy.
If only there were a player available that hardly strikes out, has a track record proving durability, and thrives against elite pitching.
The Yankees offense needs DJ LeMahieu.
Forgoing LeMahieu would be borderline unforgivable, approaching the level of the Boston Red Sox letting Mookie Betts walk after the 2019 season. LeMahieu led the Yankees, and the American League, for that matter, in batting average, OBP, and OPS in 2020.
He’s arguably the purest hitter in Major League Baseball at the moment. If it weren’t for budget cuts, practically every team would be chasing after him. Budget cuts withstanding, you’d expect the mighty New York Yankees to put forth the cash.
The Yanks might still manage to win the division without DJ LeMaheiu, though a World Series berth seems like a long shot. They’re too fragile. Too uncertain. Too unstable. DJ LeMaheiu would provide much of the strength that the New York Yankees are lacking. New York should give LeMahieu all the marbles he’s asking for this offseason, prioritizing him over all other needs.