Is there a better bat and glove combination among Major League second basemen than the New York Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu?
His career batting average of .305 and fielding percentage of .991 certainly suggest that he may be in a league of his own.
Not only has he been Mr. Consistent throughout his 10-year career with the Rockies and Yankees, his last two seasons have been downright impressive winning the Silver Slugger award and finishing in the top 4 in MVP votes in each of them.
Last season he won his 2nd batting title in five years while posting a career-best in on-base percentage (.421) and OPS (1.011).
No GM would argue with his numbers on the field.
These numbers are cause for concern for some teams, however:
According to Sports Illustrated, the 32-year-old is reportedly seeking a 5-6 year deal worth around $20 million a year.
That does necessarily mean a team in the hunt for a playoff run in the coming won’t be aggressive in acquiring him.
Here are some teams that seem to be in the mix to sign DJ LeMahieu this offseason.
The Likely Choice: New York Yankees
The Yankees are not afraid to sacrifice age for production.
They have been known to pay big money for top tier veterans who other teams simply can’t afford.
In this case, however, the Yankees are reportedly not willing to push his terms that far.
First tidbit from the virtual Winter Meetings: yes, the Yankees have DJ LeMahieu as their priority and he wants to return. But I'm told it's "far from a slam dunk" he re-signs.
DJ is asking for 5-6 years at $20M+. The Yankees are staying at 4 as of now. That's the hold up
— Dan Federico (@DanJFederico) December 7, 2020
The Yankees are always among the top of the league in available money, but Giancarlo Stanton’s 13 year $325 million contract appears to be a bigger burden than one might imagine.
They have made it clear that they want to resign LeMahieu, but both sides have yet come to an agreement.
The Fun Choice: Los Angeles Dodgers
This may not even be fair.
Would the Dodgers be worse if LeMahieu doesn’t opt to go to LA?
Would they be better if he wears blue and white?
Better is not the word; dominant is more accurate.
LeMahieu would certainly be an upgrade from Kike Hernandez at second base.
His ability to also play 3rd and 1st base could be beneficial as well if veteran third baseman Justin Turner does not re-sign with the team — although that is expected to happen according to Dodger Blue staff writer Matt Borelli.
Still, if the Dodgers and LeMahieu are willing to come to an agreement, he would boost an already stacked lineup.
Like the Yankees, the Dodgers are looking to win right now, and LeMahieu’s age is probably not of concern to their front office.
The Interesting Choice: Toronto Blue Jays
Talks of LeMahieu heading north of the border are heating up.
— NJ.com Sports (@NJ_Sports) December 12, 2020
Signing a veteran of this caliber could take the Blue Jays from a young, fun team on the rise to a legitimate title contender over the next couple years.
Cavan Biggio seems to be the second baseman of the future for the Jays, but LeMahieu could man up the hot corner and allow Valimir Guerrero Jr. to take over the DH role.
Reports that the Yankees are still the favorite to sign the Slugger may hinder Toronto as they will have to throw quite a bit of money at him to get him to swap allegiances for another AL East team.
The Dark Horse Choice: New York Mets
Has there been a more aggressive team in the free agent market than the Mets?
The front office appears to be ready for this team to take the next step and not only make the playoffs but make a run at a title.
For anyone who received this alert: Ignore it. Someone made a mistake. At this point, the Angels are not believed to be in on DJ LeMahieu.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 7, 2020
They re-signed veteran pitcher Marcus Stroman to a 1 year $18.9 million contract and paid Cy Young winner Jacob Degrom his dues last year.
They also still have a year left of Pete Alonso’s rookie deal, so if there is a team willing to pay him what he wants, it could be the Mets.
WIth Robinson Cano out yet again for violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policies, the Mets have a need at second base.
Of these four teams, the Met have the longest way to go in terms of playoff contention.
What they may have that the others team may not is the willingness to pay LeMahieu what he wants, if not more.