The New York Yankees, since the end of the World Series, have been trying to sign DJ LeMahieu after he rejected the only qualifying offer the Yankees dished out. It appears the sides are getting closer but are not yet there. Bob Nightengale, a highly respected journalist with USA Today, reports that DJ LeMahieu is asking for five years at $100 million, while the Yankees have offered four years at $75 million. That leaves a $25 million gap in the negotiations.
The general thought is that neither side is willing to budge from those figures. The two will likely compromise if a deal is to be made, probably at four years to satisfy the Yankees and an amount at $88 million to compromise with the Wasserman Group, LeMahieu’s agent. If the deal can be completed, it will mean that DJ will get $10million more per year and for four years. Considering the LeMahieu is a high profile player, that deal is still a bargain for the New York Yankees.
Yankee general manager has recently side on the Yankee Hot Stove on the YES Network that they are ardently trying to sign LeMahieu.
â€œWe have good intentions when it comes to DJ LeMahieu and trying to re-sign him, and I think he has the same on his end,â€ Cashman said. â€œFree agency is very complicated and tricky. Itâ€™s a competition. The dance and the conversations will continue. We certainly hope for a positive outcome, but itâ€™s also possible that there isnâ€™t one, so weâ€™ll just have to wait and see.â€
At this point, the only competition the Yankees seem to have in procuring LeMahieu’s services is the Toronto Blue Jays. If the Blue Jays that reportedly intend to sign DJ outbid the Yankees, the Yankees in this money short offseason could let DJ walk. If that happens, it will devastate the Yankees to have him playing with another team within the same divisions.
In an earlier article, I explained why signing DJ LeMahieu is a deal the Yankees should make as they are getting one of the best players in both leagues and at a bargain price. Here is how I explained it.
LeMahieu has had a better batting average than Manny Machado and Bryce Harper in both years of his contract. To give you an idea from a business standpoint, the Phillies paid $529K for each hit (51) Harper got during the 2020 shortened season. The New York Yankee paid LeMahieu $169K per hit during the same period, for a far greater number of hits (71).
Looking at the above cost per hit, LeMahieu is an absolute bargain for the Yankees, well worth the $24M contract. Based on those figures, if the Yankees double his salary per year and extend it to 5 years for $120M, it would still be a bargain for the Yankees. That $120M, the 5-year contract, would probably get the deal done. The hold up is that the Yankees would like a contract more in the area of three or four years at less than the $100M mark. At the end of a 5-year contract, DJ will be 37 years old. Harper, at the end of his contract, will be 39.