Yankees News: How will the Yankees use DJ, CBA meeting today, and the Freddie Freeman option

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu
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Questions: What do the Yankees do with DJ LeMahieu in 2022?

The New York Yankees still have many decisions to make once and if the owners and players can come to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The MLB lockout has prevented them from improving the team after doing nothing before the lockout. They still have to get a new shortstop to replace Gleyber Torres at short, an offensive upgrade at first base, another starting pitcher to replace Corey Kluber, and some insurance in center field.

This is so important because spring training and the schedule for pitchers and catchers to report south is just over two weeks. In the weeks since the lockout, the Yankee front office and general manager, Brian Cashman, have had plenty of time to figure things out, but no indication of what they will do has been forthcoming. One caveat that may be front and center in this discussion is what they will do with leadoff hitting and Gold Glove second baseman DJ LeMahieu.

Yankee fans can assume that he has lost his permanent spot at second base to Gleyber Torres, who assumed the mid-infield position at the end of the last season. The Yankees continuing to support their failed shortstop indicated that he would be the second baseman going forward. Last season the Yankees used LeMahieu as a utility infielder playing all over the infield with varying degrees of success. The Yankees know that he will be at least adequate no matter where they put him.



It appears that this season the only place he won’t play is to fill that hole at short. The Yankees are going to have to be creative. They could forget about getting a new first baseman and slot DJ there. That solidifies Torres at second and Gio Urshela at third if they do. The Yankees have the option to resign free agent Anthony Rizzo, use held over Luke Voit, go for a Matt Olson, or even spend big for Freddie Freeman if available. If they chose the put DJ at third, that could move Gio Urshela to short, solving that problem. Believe it or not, not using any of these options could lead to the trade of Voit and even Urshela in the hopes of acquiring a new shortstop. The only thing for sure is that no one knows what the Yankees will do.

Owners and Players meet again today, is spring training in jeopardy?

Today the MLBPA will present another counter-proposal to the owners’ offer that was rejected. They have had two more meetings since then, and although some progress was made, they are still far apart on agreeing, putting the start of spring training in jeopardy and the loss of some major league games.

Today is February 1, pitchers and catchers for most teams, including the New York Yankees, are supposed to report on February 16. Even if unlikely, the sides can come together and form an alliance that will give the Yankees and all the other MLB teams only two weeks to sign remaining free agents or make trades to finalize their teams for the new season. If they can’t accomplish that in that short time frame, the start of spring training will have to be moved back.

Although both sides have already achieved some level of success in the negotiations, there are still some significant issues to be resolved. No analyst believes that a final agreement will arise out of today’s talks, it could collapse entirely, and baseball will be faced with a major disaster and lost games. Today the players union is likely to offer more concessions in an effort to come to an agreement, much of whether they can tie the knot will be up to the owners and if they can negotiate in good faith.

Is Freddie Freeman an option for the New York Yankees?

The short answer is yes, even if doubtful. It was once assumed that Freeman would return to the Atlanta Braves, and that was it. But when Atlanta had the chance to zip up Freeman, they have failed to do that, showing some big cracks in the effort to retain him. Meanwhile, the Yankees and the Braves are weighing their options, including the A’s Matt Olson as a backup plan. The big stumbling block is what Freeman will demand in a contract that will be in the $180 million range. Here is what Ken Rosenthal of the Atlantic recently said:

“Our longstanding assumption — ah, they’ll just work it out — no longer applies. The Braves and Freeman didn’t work it out last spring, last summer, or in November with the lockout looming. They still might work it out, considering that an agreement remains the most sensible outcome. But rest assured, both sides are weighing their options. It would not be a surprise for either, once business resumes, to act quickly.”