New York Jets: HC candidate Matt Campbell likely staying in school

New York Jets

The New York Jets were reportedly interested in talking with Campbell, but he’s set to stay with Iowa State.

Matt Campbell is apparently sticking with Ames over East Rutherford and the other NFL markets.

The Iowa State head football coach strongly hinted that he’s staying with the Cyclones despite reported interest from several NFL camps, including the New York Jets’. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports originally reported that the Jets were expected to speak with Campbell, but Bruce Feldman of The Athletic has shot the notion down. Campbell’s tweet appears to have confirmed such a departure.

“So grateful for the commitment of so many to continue to want to build our program together,” Campbell said in his tweet. “Our foundation has been built on Loyalty and Faithfulness and it will continue to be our guiding light. Humbled and Grateful to continue to lead to be different.”

Campbell’s celebration of unity stems from his ISU program welcoming back all but two starters on offense and defense from what’s likely the most prolific season in team history. The Cyclones tied a program-record with nine wins and made their first appearance in the Big 12 Championship Game. Though they fell to Oklahoma 27-21, ISU was ranked 10th in the final College Football Playoff poll and earned a postseason victory at the Fiesta Bowl, topping Pac-12 champion Oregon 34-17.

The Cyclones have qualified for a bowl game in each of the last four seasons under Campbell’s watch, setting yet another program-best. Their future fortunes received a strong turn in the right direction when All-American tight end and All-Big 12 safety Greg Eisworth each confirmed that they would likewise return to Ames, eschewing the 2021 NFL Draft.

Despite the apparent loss of Campbell, the Jets’ coaching search continued throughout the weekend. The team confirmed they held interviews with several candidates including playoff-contending coordinators like Brian Daboll, Brandon Staley, Matt Eberflus, and Arthur Smith.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Mets: Lindor was all smiles during introductory conference, wants to ‘achieve the ultimate goal’

New York Yankees, Francisco Lindor

The New York Mets welcomed their new star shortstop on Monday, after they held an introductory press conference for Francisco Lindor. Last week, the Mets made a statement by trading four players – shortstops Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario plus two prospects – to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Lindor and Carlos Carrasco.

With the smile that has made him famous in his tenure as a big leaguer, Lindor said he is excited to be a part of the New York Mets.

“They say smiling is very contagious,” Lindor said, while donning a Mets cap. “I’m going to bring Francisco Lindor, I’m going to do me on a daily basis — hopefully that’s good enough for my teammates and the fans. … Why not smile? I’m living my dream. I’m living the life I always wanted. So I don’t see why I wouldn’t smile.”

Carrasco will be introduced on Tuesday at 1 pm ET.

Lindor is a proven star. At 27 years old, he already has four All-Star games under his belt, plus two Gold Gloves. From 2016 to 2019, he averaged 30 homers and 20 steals.

He’s “excited” to play for the Mets

“There’s been so much excitement about the Mets that I couldn’t help myself to be extremely excited [and] to be happy,” Lindor said. “It’s a new opportunity for me, my family — I’m blessed. I’m blessed to be able to play the greatest game out there in probably the biggest city in the world and one of the most fun cities in the world.”

Lindor’s impact will also be felt with the glove. He has 46 Defensive Runs Saved since entering the Majors in 2015.
“I’m ready to continue to work and ready to win,” Lindor said. “I’m excited to be part of this organization, and I can’t wait to be part of the great things they have going on in the clubhouse. I just want to be a little piece of the puzzle, and hopefully, we achieve the ultimate goal, which is winning.”

Naturally, Mets’ fans would love for Lindor to sign an extension, as he only has one year left of team control. Here is what he said about the subject: “Like I said, I’m excited to be with the Mets organization. I’m not against a long-term [extension], but it has to make sense for both sides. I’m sure my agent will do a great job and get me everything I desire, and we’ll see what happens. I’m extremely excited for this new chapter.”

The Mets, it appears, have a new face of the franchise.

Cory Sandhagen says TJ Dillashaw needs a win before getting UFC title shot

One of the more exciting divisions in the UFC is the bantamweight division. Just last week, we saw it get announced that Petr Yan (15-1) and Aljamain Sterling (19-3) are finally going to fight for the title in March at UFC 259. 

Next month, there is also a big time bantamweight matchup scheduled for February 6th. Cory Sandhagen (13-2) will be taking on Frankie Edgar (24-8-1) in the co-main event of that UFC Fight Night.

Both Sandhagen and Edgar are currently ranked inside the top four of the bantamweight division. Considering that Cody Garbrandt (12-3) is ranked third despite moving down to flyweight, both men are actually ranked in the top three.

However, it’s not a guarantee that the winner of their matchup will get a UFC title shot. While it makes all the sense in the world and whoever wins would definitely be deserving, there’s one fighter that could throw a wrench into things.

That fighter is the former UFC bantamweight champion, TJ Dillashaw (16-4). Dillashaw is getting ready to return after serving a two-year suspension following a positive drug test for EPO.

Dillashaw’s suspension forced him to relinquish the UFC bantamweight championship. He never lost the title inside the octagon, but his actions outside the cage gave the belt away. Dillashaw has been vocal about his desire to fight for the title.

UFC shot right away? Sandhagen says no way

TJ Dillashaw told ESPN in early December that he believes he should get a title shot immediately. His logic is that he never lost the title inside the cage and Yan really didn’t earn the title. For that reason, the championship is up for grabs.

Jose Aldo (29-7) recently called out Dillashaw for a fight after his last win. Honestly that matchup would make a ton of sense for both men. However, reports are that there is no traction at the moment to get that fight done.

Sandhagen has been hearing whispers about Dillashaw’s desire for a UFC title shot. He made it clear that he’s not in favor saying, “I heard him say he’s playing the ‘financially secure’ card. We’ve been putting in work while you’ve been gone. So that would kind of be a bummer if they just gave it to him.”

At this point, it doesn’t appear that the UFC is going to give Dillashaw his desired title shot. Yes, Dillashaw never lost the title inside the cage, however, he hasn’t fought in two years due to a suspension for taking a banned substance.

Dominick Cruz (22-3) never lost his title either but was forced to face Takeya Mizugaki instead of getting a title shot after his first layoff. And that was due to injury. Sandhagen is right in that the winner of him and Frankie Edgar should get the next shot at the title.

The UFC should really try to book Dillashaw against a guy like Aldo. Let him reestablish himself in the division and try to repair his name. Do not give him a title shot just because he held the belt when he was suspended. It’s not fair to the guys who have been competing.

New York Yankees: DJ rejected his qualifying offer, some big names have said no to the Yankees

The New York Yankees offered slugger DJ LeMahieu their only qualifying offer of the offseason for $18.9 million. The star said no, and chose to be a free agent instead. Now over two months into the offseason and the Yankees are in a stalemate with the star, not over money but over the contract’s length, the Yankees are willing to offer. The Yankee’s wish list includes signing the stud for three years at $75 million. DJ wants more security and a contract for five years. With at least three other teams interested in the batting champ, he may say no to the Yankees.

If he says no to the Yankees, he will join a long list of players that have said no to the Yankees or wouldn’t entertain playing at Yankee Stadium. Here are just a few of the most notable players that rejected the Yankee offers.

Barry Bonds

Forget Bonds tarnished career; he was one of the best players in the game for many years. At the age of 28, after the 1992 season with Pittsburgh and a record of .311 with 34 HR and 103 RBI, Bonds was a free agent and looking for a new home.

After the 1992 season, the Yankees ended up 20 games behind the first-place Toronto Blue Jays, and the Yankees needed guys who could put up numbers, and the remarkable Barry Bonds was their target to make that happen. They thought they were going big in offering Bonds a five year $36 million contract.  Compared to today’s deals, that might not seem like much, but it was a big-money contract for the time.

Bonds all but laughed at the offer and instead signed with the San Francisco Giants, where he put up big numbers for  Giants over 15 years while hitting a record 586 home runs. It cost the Giants $50 million over the first seven years plus a signing bonus.

Greg Maddux

Greg Maddux was one of the most successful and popular starting pitchers of the ’90s.  Also, coming off the losing 1992 season, the Yankees, much like this year, needed a dramatic upgrade in their pitching rotation. In 1992 Maddox was a 20 game-winner, and the Yankees wanted him to lead the rotation as the Yankee’s ace.

General Manager “Stick” Michaels brought Maddox to New York and wined and dined him all over the city hot spots; he even arranged a meeting with Donald Trump. Wanting Maddox as much as they wanted Bonds, the Yankees made him a big offer. They offered him five years for $34 million that included a $9 million signing bonus. Maddux wasn’t impressed and said no, instead of accepting a deal with the Atlanta Braves.

Maddux would win a World Series win in 1995 with the Braves but was denied a second ring in 1996. He won game 2, but the Yankees would come back and win four games back to back for the World Series crown.

Ken Griffy, Jr.

After the 1996 season, outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. was one of the most coveted free agents in baseball history. While the Yankees never made him a formal offer because Griffey made it quite clear that he had no interest in becoming a Bomber.

Griffy explained it wasn’t a money issue; it’s just something he could never do. It seems the issue was that when his father played for the New York Yankees in the ’70s, the young Giffy wasn’t allowed to accompany his father into the clubhouse due to team rules that did not allow children in the clubhouse. Apparently, it’s not something he ever got over.  In 2008 he told the New York Post what he thought about the Old Yankee Stadium: “My favorite Yankee Stadium memory? It’s leaving Yankee Stadium.”

David Cone

We all associate David Cone with his perfect game and amazing feats on the mound, but all was not always good with the relationship. When Cone was coming off his World Series win with the Blue Jays, the Yankees made him an offer to play at Yankees Stadium. Cone sat on the offer, basically saying no; the Yankees later withdrew the offer.

But Yankee fans would still see his services as he did sign with them in 1996 and had a perfect game and won the World Series for the Yankees that year. Cone has still associated with the team calling games with Michael Kay at Yankee Stadium and for YES Network.

Cliff Lee

Cliff Lee was coming off a season where he destroyed all opponents during the 2009 season for the Indians and the Phillies. And that was after a 22 game winning season in 2008. The Yankees just had to have Lee to enhance their pitching rotation.

Lee was a free agent, and the New York Yankees offered him a huge contract for six years worth in the $140 million territory. Lee said no and signed with the Phillies for less money. Interestingly in the same year, the outfielder Carl Crawford was also available. The Yankees really wanted him for a backup to their less than the stellar outfield. General manager Brian Cashman wined and dined the star. Cashman made his play for Crawford, but he too said no, instead signing a $142 million contract with the Red Sox.

Hopefully, for the Yankees, DJ LeMahieu will not be the next big name to say no to the Yankees. But at this point, while the Yankees do nothing to improve the team while waiting to see if they can sign him, maybe a no would be better than continuing to wait while needed players are signed with other teams. Only time will tell.

 

New York Giants: What will Leonard Williams’ contract look like this offseason?

New York Giants, Leonard Williams

If there’s anyone more deserving of a contract extension than Leonard Williams after the 2020 season, please let me know in the comments. The New York Giants will have a hard time letting go of one of their most productive players on defense, especially after a breakout campaign when he recorded 11.5 sacks and 30 quarterback hits, a career-high in both categories.

Williams had never breached 7.0 sacks before the 2020 campaign, but under defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, he realized his talents and dominated in the trenches. Because of that, Williams is in line for a massive contract that will significantly burden the Giants’ cap space but also ensure they retain one of their most efficient and valuable assets.

The trenches are one of general manager Dave Gettleman’s prized possessions, as he’s built a dominant group composed of Williams, Dexter Lawrence, and Dalvin Tomlinson. Tomlinson is also looking for a new deal after finishing his rookie contract this past season. He was very productive and represents one of the best run stoppers in the NFL. He finished the season with 49 combined tackles, 3.5 sacks, 10 quarterback hits, and eight tackles for a loss. He did finish with a career-high missed tackle rate of 12.5%, while Williams had a career-low, at 3.4%.

Ultimately, keeping the interior defense together should be a priority, but the salary cap is expected to drop this off-season significantly.

Gettleman mentioned during his annual postseason press conference that people are saying the cap could drop to $175 million, down $23.2 million from $198.2 million in 2020. The influence of Covid was significant and will limit free-agent spending this off-season.

With that being said, the Giants already know they have to upgrade their offense significantly after they finished 31st in the NFL in points per game. They were just above the Jets, who were historically bad. That poses the question, is it possible Gettleman allows Williams to walk this off-season, despite his breakout performance?

Realistically, Williams is Gettleman’s golden goose, acquired two years ago in a trade with the New York Jets, which sent a third and fifth-round pick on their way. The Giants acquired Williams, and what seemed to be a poor move at the time has rebounded nicely for the defense. There’s very little chance Good Ole Dave lets Leonard walk after giving away so much draft capital for him and experiencing ‘zero’ winning seasons post-trade.

What type of contract should we expect for Leonard Williams?

Comparably, star defensive tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs, Chris Jones, landed a four-year, $80 million deal this past off-season, with an average salary of $20 million. Jones is one of the best interior defenders in the NFL at 26 years old, so I believe Williams will make a bit less but still hover in that range.

Jones routinely puts up elite sack numbers and collapses the pocket efficiently despite the opponent. Since 2018, he hasn’t recorded fewer than 7.5 sacks, and that is with missing three games in 2019. He is a staple in their defense, and I would say is just a bit better than Williams when factoring in his consistency. Williams only has one elite season to his name, so I believe he will likely earn somewhere in the three-year range, worth $17 million per season. Expect high guarantees, though, since he is perennially healthy and has never missed a game.

FULL CONTRACT PROJECTION:

-3 years

-$51 million

-$17 million per season

-$40 million guaranteed at signing

-Majority dead cap in first and second season

Yankees’ Luis Medina was crowned the Puerto Rican league’s Pitcher of the Year

New York Yankees

New York Yankees‘ pitcher Luis Medina may have lost a year of development on paper due to the coronavirus pandemic and the cancelation of the minor league campaign. However, he made strides at the team’s alternate training site and had a stellar season in Puerto Rico playing winter ball.

Medina, who pitched for Indios de Mayaguez at the Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente (LBPRC), was crowned this weekend as the Pitcher of the Year in the Caribbean circuit, a testimony of how dominant he was during his stint there.

The lanky right-hander, currently 21 years old, was a force to be reckoned with in Puerto Rico, and the Yankees are absolutely delighted with his performance. Over 16.2 innings, he only handed six walks, which is extremely encouraging progress given his past issues throwing consistent strikes.

The Yankees prospect had videogame numbers

Additionally, and maybe the most impressive part of his statistical profile in the winter league, he struck out a whopping 32 hitters in those 16.2 frames. That’s an insane strikeout rate for the youngster.

Medina was also named to the All Star team in the Puerto Rican league.

The hurler is on the 40 man despite not yet sniffing Double-A. The 2021 season will be big for the Yankees’ farmhand, as he will try to prove that the control gains he made over the last two years can stick in the long haul.

For years, Medina was stopped from advancing through the Yankees’ system largely because of himself and his control issues. Before 2019, he hadn’t had a BB/9 in a season lower than 5.48.

For most of the 2019 campaign, it was more of the same: he was in Low-A ball, and finished with a 6.48 BB/9 there in 93 frames. But if you look closely, during his last six starts, his BB/9 was a pretty 3.09 BB/9. Seeing this, the Yankees tested him for two starts in High-A, where he was excellent: a 10.13 K/9, a 2.53 BB/9, and a 0.84 ERA.

Now, Medina will likely start the 2021 season in High-A. If his control is now average, he can help the Yankees in the bigs by early 2022.

New York Giants: 2020 season report card

New York Giants, Leonard Williams

The New York Giants closed their season at 6-10 and second in the NFC East. Joe Judge and his team were able to get a win in the last game of the season to place the Giants a little higher than preseason expectations.

Here’s how this season affected the stock of various aspects in the Giants organization.

Stock up

Leonard Williams, DT

Many questioned Gettleman’s decision to franchise tag Leonard Williams after a 0.5 sack season five QB hits. Williams himself answered all those questions as he posted the best season of his career, raising his stock more than anyone on the team.

The former first-round pick out of USC put together a monster season with 30 QB hits, 14 tackles for loss, and 11.5 sacks. These were all career highs for Williams and an insane increase from his not so stellar performance last season. This All-Pro caliber season from the interior defender should land him a big payday this offseason where he is an unrestricted free agent.

Blake Martinez, LB

Another defender who built on his stock during the 2020 season was Blake Martinez. The newly signed linebacker from Green Bay had a terrific season where he posted 155 tackles (third in the NFL), nine tackles for loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles (career-high), and one interception. This high level of play made him the seventh graded linebacker (by Pro Football Focus) out of 89 candidates. With more help from a better second linebacker, Martinez could see a further increase in his level of play.

James Bradberry, CB

Another newly signed free agent who raised their stock was James Bradberry. The former Panther earned himself a Pro Bowl nomination through his breakout 2020 season. During this campaign, Bradberry posted 54 tackles, 18 passes defended (second in the NFL), and three interceptions. Similarly to Martinez, this high level of play made Bradberry the seventh graded cornerback (by Pro Football Focus) out of 123 candidates.

Daniel Jones, QB

On the offensive side of the ball, Daniel Jones solidified his spot as the Giants starter for at least one more year. The Giants’ offense was clearly much more effective with Jones on the field, and he himself improved his level of play greatly from his rookie campaign. He was much more careful with the ball and his throws looked to be much more accurate.

Additionally, Jones improved his rushing ability and took care of the ball better. He posted a career-high 423 rushing yards. The Duke product also decreased his fumbles to only 11 (most of which came in the first half of the season) and interceptions to 10 (many of which were not his fault). If Jones can get a better receiving threat, an improved offensive line, and Saquon Barkley back healthy, he may be looking at a breakout season next year.

Wayne Gallman, RB

Gallman came into this season unsure of a future in the NFL. Then he had to fill some of the biggest shoes in football when Saquon Barkley tore his ACL in Week two. However, he rose to the challenge and tackled these obstacles like a champ (which he is as he won a college championship at Clemson).

The fourth-year running back came out and posted career-highs in every single rushing statistic. Gallman recorded 682 rushing yards on 4.6 yards per attempt and six touchdowns. If he does not get resigned with New York, he will definitely have a spot in the NFL somewhere as a reserve back.

Coaching (Joe Judge and Patrick Graham)

Two Giants coaches who improved their stock drastically were head coach Joe Judge and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. In his first year as head coach, Joe Judge overcame multiple obstacles and had his team only one game out of making the playoffs. Expectations were low for the Giants, and with the injury of Saquon Barkley plus the opt-out by Nate Solder, the season appeared doomed. However, Judge had his troops play some inspired football throughout the season, having them in the playoff race until the very last game of the season where they needed an Eagles win, which did not happen.

As for Patrick Graham, with a limited offseason and lack of star players, it appeared that the defense was gonna be the problem for New York. However, the exact opposite was the case as the Giants’ defense was the only thing keeping them in games. The Giants were 12th in the NFL in total defense (349.3 yards allowed per game) and ninth in scoring defense (22.3 points allowed per game). This is coming off of a season where they were 25th in total defense (377.3 yards allowed per game) and 30th in scoring defense (28.2 points allowed per game). The pass rush also saw an increase as the Giants posted four more sacks this season than in 2019. If Graham can get his pass rushers (Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines) healthy and a second cornerback, this defense can become one of the best in the NFL.

Stock Down

Andrew Thomas, OT

While Andrew Thomas had a disappointingly down rookie season, he did make some progress in the second half of the campaign. He’s a solid run-blocker who underwhelmed in pass-protection, which is a factor he will need to improve significantly in 2021. The number four overall pick came in with high expectations as he was the first lineman taken off the board, but he ended up being the worst.

The former Georgia Bulldog allowed the second-most pressures in the NFL (57), the second-most QB hurries (39), and the most sacks (10). It was clear that Andrew Thomas was not ready to feature as the starting left tackle for the Giants. The opt-out by Nate Solder combined with the shortened offseason appeared detrimental to his development.

Shane Lemieux, OG

Another lineman who did not perform well for the Giants was Shane Lemieux. While the rookie out of Oregon did not have high expectations, he was thrown into a starting position midway through the season and floundered.

The rookie allowed 25 pressures, 14 QB hits, and five sacks despite only playing 205 pass-blocking snaps. This made him the lowest-graded lineman in all of football (out of those that played over 75 passing snaps) with a PFF pass-blocking grade of 16.9. The Giants should seriously look to move on from Lemieux as he is clearly not a starting-caliber player.

Evan Engram, TE

Despite making the Pro Bowl, Evan Engram did not have a great season.

The fourth-year tight end dropped a career-high nine passes, one that would have sent the Giants to the playoffs. Engram also was involved with five out of Daniel Jones’ 10 interceptions as he often dropped the ball, allowing it to be picked off by the defender. The tight end was also involved with a Daniel Jones fumble bringing his total turnovers involved with to a grand total of six, an outrageous number for a position who is supposed to have the best hands on the team.

It is clear that Engram has potential, but if he can not get more reliable hands, the Giants will need to move on from the speedster.

Golden Tate, WR

Tate seemed a step slower this season as he was not as quick after the catch and barely gained any separation from his defenders. This resulted in Tate posting the third-lowest receiving output of his career—388 yards. This was also a career-low for the veteran in yards after catch with only 82 yards. Following this season, it seems that he and the Giants will part ways as he is rarely targeted and does not seem happy with New York. The departure will likely be mutually beneficial.

UFC books Song Yadong – Kyler Phillips

The UFC has added another really solid matchup to one of the more stacked cards they’ve put together in recent memory. First reported by Bloody Canvas, Song Yadong (16-4-1, 1 NC) will be taking on Kyler Phillips (8-1).

The fight will take place on March 6th at UFC 259. Of course, that PPV card is already known for having three title fights including the light heavyweight title fight between Israel Adesanya and Jan Blachowicz.

Because of the stacked nature of UFC 259, this fight is going to be one that flies under the radar. However, this bantamweight matchup is definitely one fans should keep their eyes on. It’ll likely be one of the main prelims that night.

Song Yadong is a bantamweight that has a lot of hype surrounding him. The Chinese born bantamweight contender is one of the top stars out of the famous Team Alpha Male led by Urijah Faber.

We haven’t seen Yadong fight since his fight with Chito Vera (16-7-1) that took place in May of 2020. Yadong walked away with the unanimous decision, however, many believed he shouldn’t have had his hand raised.

Nevertheless, it goes into the books as a victory. Since making his debut in 2017 with the UFC, Yadong has been sensational. He’s 5-0-1 and will enter the octagon on March 6th ranked 14th at Bantamweight.

UFC Bantamweight Battle

This is going to be a big step up for Kyler Phillips at UFC 259. Phillips was introduced to Dana White and the company brass back in 2017 when he won by first round TKO on Dana White’s Contender Series.

Despite the quick finish, Phillips had to fight two more times before joining the UFC. He made his debut in 2020 when he took on Gabriel Silva. He was able to win that fight by unanimous decision before taking on Cameron Else.

Phillips was able to score a second round TKO over Else on Fight Island back in October. After two good victories to start out his career with the UFC, the promotion is throwing him someone in the top fifteen.

This is going to be a very difficult matchup for Phillips, but getting an opponent of this caliber shows you what the promotion thinks of him. It’s a pivotal matchup for the two bantamweight prospects.

Report: New York Yankees in serious danger of losing DJ LeMahieu

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

Two years of excellence should be rewarded with loyalty and respect, but New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is playing the long game with DJ LeMahieu this off-season. LeMahieu is up for a new contract and is looking for a long-term deal worth $25 million per season over five years. However, Cashman is on strict orders to save as much money as possible after a financially stressful 2020 season.

Nonetheless, the Yankees have plenty of money to spend, but ownership wants to stay beneath the $210 million luxury tax threshold. With that being the case, Cashman is being forced to stay conservative, saving every penny so he can allocate resources toward other units that need strengthening.

Because of this, LeMahieu is losing patience and has asked his representatives to engage with other teams. At this point, the Yankees are in serious danger of losing the star infielder to free agency, which would be a massive blow to their offense and defense.

According to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports, the Yankees are in danger of losing DJ LeMahieu:

A two-time batting champ and the New York Yankees’ best player for two seasons running, LeMahieu, according to a source close to his family, has become dismayed by the slow-play tactics of the Yankees, along with other clubs. Teams that have engaged with the LeMahieu camp say LeMahieu expects more than Josh Donaldson’s four-year, $92 million deal with the Minnesota Twins and at least on par with J.D. Martinez’s five years and $110 million with the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees, LeMahieu’s preferred club after two successful seasons in the Bronx, have not met those terms.

The 32-year-old LeMahieu has, therefore, asked his representatives to re-engage with teams that have previously shown the most interest, the source said, among them the Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets, and to reconnect with teams that reached out early in the free agent period, including the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox and others.

In 2020, DJ won the batting title with a .364 average, 10 homers, and 27 RBIs. He was once again phenomenal, recording a career-low 9.7% strikeout rate. LeMahieu is like a fine wine, he gets better with age. However, he will be 37 when his desired five-year deal is over, and the Yankees are already on the hook for several big contracts with Giancarlo Stanton and Gerrit Cole.

Cashman has a justifiable reason to be conservative this off-season, but if he keeps pushing his luck, he will lose out on one of the most sought after players in the MLB right now. The Los Angeles Dodgers keep bubbling to the surface, and even the Toronto Blue Jays have reportedly been aggressive in their pursuit. If Cashman doesn’t find a solution within the next month, I’m under the impression that they will lose DJ.

Report: DJ LeMahieu is growing frustrated with the Yankees and will engage other teams

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

The offseason has been going pretty slowly to this point. Only a handful of major free agents have committed their future, but most of the top players are still available: Trevor Bauer, George Springer, Liam Hendriks, Brad Hand, Marcell Ozuna… and DJ LeMahieu. The New York Yankees are reportedly making him a priority, but so far, the two sides haven’t been able to find common ground.

According to the latest report on Sunday, the infielder is growing frustrated with the New York Yankees’ lack of initiative and willingness to meet his demands. He reportedly wants at least five years and well north of $100 million, but the Bombers, so far, have refused to budge.

Per Yahoo! Sports columnist Tim Brown, the slow offseason could be explained by the “lost revenue from last summer, the fear of similar conditions ahead and, as some players suspect, an opportunity for club owners to artificially tamp salaries for the coming years.”

The Yankees could definitely use LeMahieu

LeMahieu was the Yankees’ best player in the last two seasons, per Fangraphs’ version of WAR. He led the major leagues in batting average in the shortened 2020 season with a .364 mark. And he feels like the Yankees aren’t valuing him the way they should.

Per Brown:

“A two-time batting champ and the New York Yankees’ best player for two seasons running, LeMahieu, according to a source close to his family, has become dismayed by the slow-play tactics of the Yankees, along with other clubs. Teams that have engaged with the LeMahieu camp say LeMahieu expects more than Josh Donaldson’s four-year, $92 million deal with the Minnesota Twins and at least on par with J.D. Martinez’s five years and $110 million with the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees, LeMahieu’s preferred club after two successful seasons in the Bronx, have not met those terms.

“The 32-year-old LeMahieu has, therefore, asked his representatives to re-engage with teams that have previously shown the most interest, the source said, among them the Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets, and to reconnect with teams that reached out early in the free agent period, including the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox and others.”

It has been a long, grueling offseason for free agents. Uncertainty is still ahead, it appears. And LeMahieu wants to secure his future as soon as possible. Will the Yankees be able to retain him?