DJ LeMahieu’s teammate is convinced he will return to the Yankees: ‘I know he wants to be in New York’

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

One of the most interesting storylines of the New York Yankees‘ offseason is whether they will be able to retain DJ LeMahieu’s services for 2021 and beyond. The experienced infielder was the team’s most valuable player both in the 2019 and the 2020 seasons, leading the club in fWAR both times and having some timely hits.

Yes, the starting rotation and the bullpen need to be addressed, but the New York Yankees know that failing to retain LeMahieu would cause some problems, possibly forcing them to sign another infielder and move some pieces around the infield.

LeMahieu, unsurprisingly, rejected the Yankees’ qualifying offer, which would have kept him in the team for one year and a $18.9 million per year salary. Now, he’s free to negotiate with other teams and if he does sign elsewhere, the Yankees will receive draft pick compensation.

But the most likely scenario still has him returning to the Bronx. Teammate Luke Voit, who finished ninth in the American League MVP race, sure is convinced that LeMahieu, who was an MVP finalist and came in third place, will stay in New York to make another run at the World Series trophy.

A “great fit” on the Yankees

“I think he’s a great fit with us,” Voit said on YES Network Monday night. “I know he wants to be in New York. I’m sure every team wants him, he’s a stud. There’s a reason he finished Top 3 in MVP voting, even though I thought he deserved to win it. I think he’s going to have a bunch of big-time offers, but I know he wants to win, I know he loves the guys in the clubhouse and loves the coaching staff and he wants to play in New York. I guess we’ll see but my gut says he’s going to be a Yankee.”

Considering their needs in other positions, and the Yankees’ desire to stay under a specific number when it comes to payroll expenses, it is fair to wonder whether they will bring back LeMahieu. However, there is no question that they should do it. Even at 32, LeMahieu remains one of the league’s best and most consistent contributors, both on offense and defense.