Oct 4, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros left fielder Michael Brantley (23) runs after hitting a single against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning of game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Imagine if the New York Yankees had two DJ LeMahieu’s in the lineup. There are several teams interested in Michael Brantley, the twelve-year veteran fresh from the Houston Astros. Brantley has a lifetime hitting an average of .297, hitting over .300 for the last three years. Brantley is the kind of hitter that can replicate DJ’s hitting, and he is a lefty too.
It’s hard to imagine the New York Yankees signing both LeMahieu and Brantley. Still, if they did, it would add a much need left-hand hitting player to the Yankee lineup that right now is so right-hand heavy, especially considering the Yankees have made no decision on Brett Gardner returning to yet another year in pinstripes.
The Yankees need more left-handed hitting, and among the players, they’ve had contact with: four-time All-Star Michael Brantley. But it seems possible that he would be a Plan B to D.J. LeMahieu; hard to imagine the Yankees would sign LeMahieu and Brantley.
Buster Olney says the New York Yankees have had contact with Brantley at least through his agent, so it shows that the Yankees are at least entertaining the idea. Or is it that they think they may not be able to meet the demands of DJ LeMahieu. Most recently, the Yankees have said they will not give DJ a five-year contract. On the other hand, the deal seems real because DJ has said that he might be willing to take less money if the Yankees are willing to give him a five-year contract, which he demands.
Obviously, the New York Yankees want DJ LeMahieu back. Last year, he was a Silver Slugger and this year bested that with the American League batting title, the first baseball player ever to win the title in both leagues. But that does not preclude them from signing Brantley too. It makes too much sense; he can add a lefty bit time hitter to the lineup and provide extra depth to the outfield should there be injuries. Think about Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, and Aaron Judge.
There is no reason the Yankees can’t afford these two great players unless owner Hal Steinbrenner needs to remodel one of his summer homes on Cape Cod. Brantley would likely cost $45 million over three years for the 33-year-old.
Yes, the New York Yankees have other areas to address, like not having any pitching to follow ace Gerrit Cole in the rotation and to make up for the loss of Tommy Kahnle in the bullpen. But it’s just as important to add a lefty bat to the lineup when it may be likely the Yankees may not give Brett Gardner that last chance to show his family that he can still play baseball.