The New York Yankees certainly surprised the MLB with the signing of 2016 National League batting title winner DJ LeMahieu, especially in the midst of Manny Machado talks. The value they will receive from LeMahieu might be even more than Machado when you factor in his price-tag and length of contract.
The Yanks and DJ came together to sign a two-year, $24 million deal, with the expectations that the former Rockie would act as a glorified utility-man in 2019. LeMahieu is a three-time Golden Glove winner which will undoubtedly help an infield that ranked towards the bottom of the league in runs allowed and defensive efficiency.
New York currently has their infield starting lineup set – 1st base: Luke Voit/Greg Bird – second base: Gleyber Torres – shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki – thirdbase : Miguel Andujar. With the starting unit set, LeMahieu will offer immense value as a rotational piece and a player to fill in due to injury or lackluster play. Second and third-base feature sophomore players coming off questionable defensive seasons. This fact alone makes DJ an essential addition that can contribute to both spots.
Andujar struggled in 2018 with 15 errors. If his defense hasn’t improved the Yankees might look to LeMahieu to fill in while Andujar features as a designated hitter.
Another option for the Yankees with LeMahieu:
The 30-year-old infielder might act as a “healer” for the Bombers – moving from position to position in the infield allowing the every-day starters to rest and stay healthy throughout the year. This would allow for a delay in fatigue and prepare the team for a potential playoff push.
The new acquisition has a great bat:
DJ is a solid hitter, slashing .276/.321/.428 with 15 homers, 62 RBI, and 90 runs scored for the Rockies last season. He doesn’t exactly fit the model of “home-run hitter” for the Yanks but he offers plenty of quality in regard to getting on base and slapping the ball to the opposite side of the field.