New York Yankee Analysis: Why the Yankees must sign second baseman DJ Lemahieu

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu
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For die-hard New York Yankees fans, you already know the answer, but nevertheless it’s worth delving into. Rather than give stats, here is a simple answer, the Yankees would never have even gotten to the postseason in 2019 or 2020 without LeMahieu’s hitting and defense of the second base.  In his 2019 campaign, after the Yankees signed him to a two year $24 million contract, he won a Silver Slugger Award and came in fourth in the MVP balloting.

In his second year with the Yankees, he topped his first year, winning the MBL batting title by hitting .364 and coming in third in the MVP voting. The Yankees couldn’t have asked more from the previous Colorado Rockies; he has been a Godsend to the team. Every game he leads off the lineup, he usually finds a way to get on base; he also has occasional power, hitting 10 home runs in this shortened season. That’s the equivalent of 27 home runs in a regular season. That is nothing to sneeze at.

Not bringing back LeMahieu would mean they would have to replace him with someone else. If he is the best leadoff hitter in baseball, anyone you would acquire to replace obviously would not be as good and could potentially not pan out at all. The New York Yankees must resign DJ LeMahieu, period! Another area to look at is his defensive ability at second base. Actually DJ is the ultimate utility player as he can play first and third base with the same quality he has at second base. His fielding percentage at second base is excellent and even better at first base, not a single error in 11 games.

DJ LeMahieu is an old-fashioned player, and he is not going to change that. He consistently steps to the plate intending to hit the ball someplace; if it happens to go over the fence, all well and good.  One difference between DJ and similar players is that when he hits the ball, he hits it hard.

Part of his success with the Yankees can be attributed to the Yankees coaching staff. When he came to work for the Yankees, he asked what the Yankees wanted from him. The answer was music to his ears. They said go out there and hit to your strengths, and that’s up the middle and the other way. And since that day, that’s all he has been doing for the Yankees. For the Yankees, LeMahieu is everything they could have asked for.

Despite finishing behind José Abreu and José Ramírez in the MVP race, LeMahieu was undoubtedly the Yankees’ team MVP again this season. It was less than two years ago that fans panned New York’s decision to sign LeMahieu to a two-year deal. Now, everyone knows the organization will suffer serious wrath from its fan base if LeMahieu ends up elsewhere in 2021 and beyond.

DJ LeMahieu was the only New York Yankees to receive a qualifying offer to return next year for 18.9 million dollars. At the deadline to answer DJ rejected off to become a free agent and test the market. That doesn’t mean DJ won’t wear the pinstripes next year, but it does mean the the Yankees will have to compete with the 8-10 teams that have expressed an interest in him. More than money, at 32 DJ may be more interested in the length of the contract, providing him security in the years to come, then the exact money amount of the contract.

The Yankees may be able to take advandage of that and the fact that DJ likes New York and playing at Yankee Stadium. Most believe it will probably take $20 million a years to acquire DJ, and probably for at least four years. Some experts have said he might want a $100 million contract. If that is true the Yankees despite his value to the team, may let me him walk. They do have other fish to fry. If DJ keeps them from solving their other needs, he value gets deminished.