In January of 2019, the New York Yankees secured one of the largest bargain signings in recent memory when they inked infielder DJ LeMahieu to a two-year, $24 million deal. A two-time All-Star at the time, LeMahieu had previously been an efficient piece for the Colorado Rockies for seven seasons.
During his two seasons with the Yankees, LeMahieu has elevated himself into one of the top free agents available. He received Silver Sluggers honors and MVP considerations in each of the last two campaigns. With New York, he is posting a .336 batting average to go with 36 home runs and 129 RBIs through 195 games played.
According to the latest reports, LeMahieu prefers a contract that surpasses Josh Donaldson’s four-year, $92 million deal with the Minnesota Twins. In fact, he would request one “on par” with J.D. Martinez’s five-year, $110 million contract with the Boston Red Sox.
The Yankees have remained firm on negotiations when it comes to LeMahieu. The team also needs to address the contract of Masahiro Tanaka; another looming current free agent.
Current teams in contact with LeMahieu include the Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets. Previous suitors mentioned were the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox among others.
LeMahieu is the MLB’s most intriguing free agent: At the age of 32, he is still one of the most dependable players on both sides of the field that the league has to offer. It’s uncommon for a veteran at this age to cash out on a lucrative contract, especially after an unpredictable and shortened 2020 season.
Still, there is reason to believe that LeMahieu and the Yankees want to strike a deal that pleases both sides. If LeMahieu gets his rightful payday, New York will face uncertainty at other positions; their starting rotation being the prime example. However, if the Yankees land a team-friendly deal, they would be doubling down on their luck of bargaining for their most productive player in each of the last two seasons. With Spring Training inching closer, there is no timeline on whether a deal will take place.