Once thought of as just a good baseball player, DJ LeMahieu has turned into the ultimate game-changer. This mostly began when he signed with the Yankees. Remember, there were Yankees fans upset that they signed LeMahieu over someone like Manny Machado or Bryce Harper. Turns out that LeMahieu has been more of a game-changer than Machado and Harper. The Phillies are stuck in the mud of mediocrity and the Padres were eliminated by the Dodgers in the Wild Card.
LeMahieu’s impact looms large for any team, both defensively and offensively. Unlike most hitters today, he hits for batting average and power simultaneously.
Today, I am looking at five potential landing spots for DJ LeMahieu.
Rumors swirled around in November that the Nationals were interested in signing DJ LeMahieu, per Jon Morosi. The Nationals are coming off of a serious World Series hangover, finishing second to last in the National League East. When LeMahieu was a free agent two years ago, the Nats also took interest in LeMahieu, per Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post.
It’s important to note that Washington’s second basemen hit a combined .272 with five homers and 26 runs batted in. The statistics seem very average and the Nationals sure would like an upgrade. DJ LeMahieu is that.
Back in 2019, Washington had to settle for Brian Dozier. Dozier’s play eventually declined with the times and he nows sits as a free agent. The Nationals should not settle for less again. Especially, since the Nationals need to get back to the playoffs. The front office didn’t hold any punches so far this offseason, trading for Pittsburgh Pirates’ first baseman Josh Bell.
Toronto Blue Jays
In the last few hours, rumors have emerged that the Blue Jays are going after some big fish this offseason. Recently, the Jays have been linked to DJ LeMahieu and Trevor Bauer.
Toronto is also looking to add an impact bat as LeMahieu won the American League batting title last season. The Blue Jays want LeMahieu to play third base. Third base is a hole to be filled for the Jays and I am sure LeMahieu will have an impact on the kids. I also believe this makes the team better competitors in the American League East.
The Rays made some puzzling moves this offseason by trading pitchers like Blake Snell and Jose Alvarado. They are also not re-signing veteran Charlie Morton. Are they blowing it up? It’s kinda peculiar since the team just made it to the World Series.
If the Yankees will certainly miss LeMahieu’s bat and glove if they don’t settle on a deal. The 32-year-old veteran utility infielder wants a five-year deal worth $125 million. It seems as though the Yankees aren’t offering a fifth year. There currently isn’t an impact player on the market like LeMahieu so it’s in the Yankees’ best interests to keep trying to sign him. Would the Jays offer five years so they could move ahead in the competition of the American League East?
Los Angeles Dodgers
Fresh off of their first World Series title in 30 years, the Dodgers are looking to stay at the top and are looking at the market for improvements. Jon Morosi of MLB Network has reported that the team has continued to show interest in DJ LeMahieu.
Veteran infielder Justin Turner is still on the market. Mind you, he is 36 years old. The Dodgers would like some younger blood to fill the third base hole. Signing LeMahieu would ensure consistency both defensively and offensively for the next few years at the position. The Dodgers do have some youngsters to fill in the void but they’re unknowns at this point.
The Dodgers need to go with a certified option in DJ LeMahieu so they can defend their title. With LeMahieu intact along with Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, and Cody Bellinger, this could be one of the best lineups in baseball.
New York Mets
The Mets are the only team in the MLB to not lose money from the pandemic. Billionaire Steve Cohen just bought the team and he’s willing to spend. He’s hired the right guys in the front office like Sandy Alderson.
New York already cashed in on free-agent catcher James McCann for a bargain.
The Mets need a second baseman, though. Robinson Cano was handed a 162 game in November for testing positive for a PED. It seems as though his resurgence was a fluke. Plus, Cano is no long term answer.
Anyways, the Mets have the money to spend and aren’t gonna play hardball with LeMahieu like the Yankees are. The Mets have been on the verge of making the playoffs the last two seasons but haven’t pulled through in September. I believe LeMahieu takes the Mets over the hump and finally carries them into the playoffs.
If the Mets are willing to pay LeMahieu’s price tag, they’ll be a consistent threat in the playoffs in no time.
New York Yankees
Surprisingly, the Yankees have not connected with LeMahieu just yet. Not to mention, spring training is about a month or two away.
LeMahieu is the Yankees’ best all-around player. Despite uneven production from the lineup last season, he was the most consistent. He won a batting title in pinstripes and is great with runners in scoring position. He is great defensively as the Yankees struggled in the middle infield without him.
As previously mentioned, there is no player like LeMahieu on the open market unless the Yankees trade for Francisco Lindor. They can only receive a consolation prize from here on out.
But, ultimately letting go of LeMahieu ensures the loss of an impact player. The Yankees don’t really have any others or consistent ones at least.
The Yankees need to negotiate with LeMahieu soon or else the team will be seeing first-round exits once again.