The New York Yankees have made it a priority to re-sign batting champ DJ LeMahieu, but more than two months into the offseason and the Yankees and DJ have not been able to strike a deal. The Yankees would like a deal that gives LeMahieu three years with the Yankees and $75 million for his bank account. LeMahieu wants more security than that, requesting five years and $110 million or more, according to Joel Sherman.
Recently LeMahieu has reported his frustration with the Yankees and how they have dealt with his contract demands. He has suggested that the Wasserman group, his agents, re-engage with the other teams that have shown an interest in the star player. The Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, the Toronto Blue Jays, and even the crosstown New York Mets have expressed varying interest levels in the 2020 batting champ.
The New York Yankee front office and even his fellow teammates have been relatively quiet on the negotiations. But that is changing now, with several players expressing that the Yankees should get the deal done because the team needs his bat in the lineup and defensive skills. Earlier Clint Frazier pointed out the need to resign him. Chad Green has chimed in, wondering what’s going on.
“I personally haven’t texted him, but I’ve definitely texted guys who are really close to him and have been like, ‘OK, what’s the deal with DJ? Are we signing him back or what’s going on?’
“So, I personally, I’m just going to leave him alone. But I’ve definitely asked some other guys what’s going on. I think the other guys have said too, they’ve just kind of left him alone about it and let him make the best decision for himself.”
Now first baseman and 2020 home run leader Luke Voit is sending a clear message to Yankee owner Hal Steinbrenner when he spoke with NBC’s Bruce Beck on Tuesday.
“We need him, I think he’s the best hitter in baseball. I’m literally sitting next to a printer right now and it makes me think of DJ because he’s a freaking machine. We need him! I think DJ deserves a lot and I know he wants to be a Yankee,” Voit said. “But I’m sure there’s 4 or 5 other teams that would love to have him too.”
Many fans and probably the New York Yankee front office thought it would be difficult for LeMahieu to repeat his stellar 2019 season, but he did and did it with even better results. The 32-year old second baseman slashed .364/.421/.590 with 10 home runs and a 177 wRC+ in 2020, winning a Silver Slugger Award and the best batting average title, besting his 2019 and showing the Yankees that he still has a lot in the tank.
Yankee players seldom speak out on these kinds of issues, but it’s becoming more and more obvious with each day that passes, and the stalemate continues that the players like the fans are just as frustrated as LeMahieu. It appears that LeMahieu because he wants to stay in New York, would take less money than other teams might offer if the Yankees would give him the five years of security that he wants. The Yankees should get it done before another team offers him something he can’t refuse.