Yankees: DJ LeMahieu breaks silence, states why he loves playing in the Bronx

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

On Thursday night, New York Yankees star infielder DJ LeMahieu finished third in voting for the AL MVP award. Having won the batting title with a .364 average, including 10 homers and 27 RBIs, LeMahieu was probably wondering what else it takes to win the accolade. He has never won an MVP, but he’s ranked in the top five twice, and both of them happened in the last two years.

However, the Yankees are on the fridge of potentially losing their best player, offensively and defensively. Since signing a two-year, $24 million deal in 2019, LeMahieu’s stock has skyrocketed, and is expected to make more than double what he was making per season when he signed his previous deal with the Bombers. Owner Hal Steinbrenner stated after the World Series concluded that he understands the value that DJ brings to the team and hinted that re-signing him would be a necessity and priority.

The good news is, DJ wants to stay in the Bronx, having experienced only positive things the past few seasons.

“I enjoy it,” LeMahieu said of the Bronx. “Every game feels like a big game. You feel like you’re under the spotlight, not getting away with anything in New York. I just feel like it’s a city that loves baseball and baseball is my passion.”

The energy and confidence the organization bleeds often captivates the players, and LeMahieu fits like a glove.

“Absolutely,” LeMahieu said. “It’s those dog days of August. The day games. You get a packed house. Everybody’s on board. Everybody wants to win. I think it heightens the focus and it’s a lot of fun.”

There are other teams suitable for DJ, but his desire is to stay in pinstripes, and that ultimately depends on the Yankees’ desire to spend money this off-season.

The New York Yankees are preparing to take a conservative approach this offseason:

The Bombers’ revenue streams were hurt more than any other team due to COVID-19, Steinbrenner stated several weeks ago. However, they have $52 million coming off the books with three starting pitchers hitting free agency and $21 million being cleared from Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract. That should open up enough to retain LeMahieu, but they have other needs, and the rumors have been flowing around Francisco Lindor and potentially the acquisition of Hall of Fame catcher Yadier Molina.

LeMahieu will be expensive, but he is the one player that is worth every penny the Yankees would spend. If there’s anyone worth paying for, it is “The Machine.” After hitting him with a qualifying offer, which he obviously rejected, the Yankees have a bit of leverage in negotiations.