The New York Yankees haven’t been as aggressive as usual this off-season, as the Mets have actually taken the thunder with a blockbuster deal on Thursday afternoon.
They finalized a trade with the Cleveland Indians, acquiring star shortstop Francisco Lindor and starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco. In the move, they will acquire two extremely talented players, and this is something the Yankees would normally do, but with new owner Steve Cohen taking over the Mets this off-season, changes are incoming. The desire to spend money and actually improve the team is the first major takeaway, as general manager Brian Cashman waits idly by for DJ LeMahieu to make a decision on his future.
However, Lindor had been linked to the Yankees for quite some time, and an interesting takeaway did bubble to the surface following the deal with Cleveland.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post stated that the Yankees ‘did,’ in fact, inquire about Francisco Lindor as a backup plan to losing DJ LeMahieu.
Yankees inquired with the Indians on the price for Lindor as a backup plan if they did not sign LeMahieu, but have remained committed to seeing it thru with LeMahieu even as other options — such as Lindor — come off the board.
It seems as if Cashman dipped his hand in the Lindor sweepstakes, but the timing just didn’t work out right. It is clear he feels confident with his farm system and the youth he continues to develop, but the Yankees need to be thinking about winning now, especially with other teams on the rise.
The New York Yankees are the only ones aggressively pursuing DJ:
Former Nationals GM Jim Bowden wrote in The Athletic that the Dodgers have similar contract length concerns.
The Dodgers are in the mix for LeMahieu’s services, but like the Yankees don’t appear willing to offer a five-year contract nor the average annual value LeMahieu’s agent Joel Wolfe is hoping to get. However, the baseball fit for the Dodgers is enormous. The Dodgers could put him at third base where he would be above-average defensively or they could put him at his best position of second base where he’s won three Gold Glove awards in his career.
It is becoming increasingly worrisome that the Yankees might lose out on LeMahieu this off-season. The Dodgers are really the only team I feel could challenge them in terms of years and financial allocations. While it seems both clubs are trying to stay away from a five-year deal, DJ continues to hold out in hopes of receiving what he desires.
However, given a different team doesn’t enter the fold and the Dodgers don’t get overly aggressive, the Yankees can wait patiently and settle on a compromise, given the fact that LeMahieu has already made it known he prefers to stay in New York.