As the weeks carried on, the New York Yankees remained patient with DJ LeMahieu as his contract negotiations progressed. LeMahieu did receive multiple offers from different teams, but general manager Brian Cashman had it figured out the entire time. He lowballed DJ and his representatives weeks ago, setting the market and watching alternative clubs come in below. The Blue Jays offered him four years and $73 million, but the Yankees remain optimistic they would retain him.
Ultimately, LeMahieu signed a six-year, $90 million deal with New York, which will pay him $15 million per season. That is far less than most anticipated entering the off-season.
The New York Yankees have a magician at GM:
Cashmanâ€™s magic should not be disregarded, as he understands player value. You could make the argument that trading for Giancarlo Stanton was a mistake since heâ€™s on the hook for seven more years and can barely play defense. However, Cashman has done more good than harm, landing starting talent like Gio Urshela fans Luke Voit for pennies on the dollar.
The Yankees only had about $35 million to spend this off-season, as ownership told Cashman to stay under the $210 million luxury tax threshold. Landing LeMahieu on $15 million per season is tremendous, as it leaves $20 million to bolster the starting pitching rotation.
The DJ deal is a massive win for the Yankees. In a year when they have about 35 million to spend, they inked one of the best players in baseball for 15 mil per and have 20 million for pitching. We will break it down on @TMKSESPN @TMKSonYES at 2:55 pm.
— Michael Kay (@RealMichaelKay) January 15, 2021
That is where former Cy Young-winning pitcher Corey Kluber comes into play. Kluber pitched for 25 teams, including the Yankees on Wednesday morning, topping out at 90 mph on his fastball. Kluber has averaged only 92 mph in his career, so the difference isn’t too significant, and he will likely work his way up as preseason commences in a few months.
The Bronx isÂ a perfect landing spot for Corey, who only wanted a one year deal to prove his worth and then cash in in 2022. However, he is two years removed from his last Cy Young-caliber campaign. In 2018 the Cleveland Indians, he won 20 games, earning a 2.89 ERA with 9.29 strikeouts for nine. He’s only pitched 36.2 innings over the past two years.
A one-year deal is perfect, though, as he will only earn $11 million over one year, providing the Yankees $9 million more to spend on bullpen arms and potentially another starter for the rotation.
As usual, Brian Cashman seems like a genius, landing two high profile free agents in one lowly Friday. Just two days ago, it seemed like they were going to lose their best player in LeMahieu and have serious shortages in the starting rotation. Now, things are looking up and I wouldnâ€™t be surprised if the Yankees finished the weekend as World Series favorites.