Yankees news/rumors: AL Rival gunning for DJ LeMahieu as Cashman stalls

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu
USA Today

It is no secret the New York Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman are doing what they can to keep DJ LeMahieu in pinstripes. However, they have hit a snag on money and years, making the likelihood of a deal being struck less probable. However, most are still optimistic he stays in New York despite extreme interest from alternative clubs.

”He wants five years, $100 million,” Bob Nightengale said Friday night on MLB Network’s Baseball Tonight. “The Yankees are more interested in four years around $75 million. They can split the difference.”

The Yankees are trying to stay away from long-term deals after dishing one out to Gerrit Cole last year and already on the hook for Giancarlo Stanton.

Ultimately, the Yankees have seen what these half-decade and longer deals can do to their money, and the destruction after injury takes hold. Stanton can’t even play defense anymore after injuries the past two seasons and seems to continue picking them up even as a designated hitter. Flashback to the Jacoby Ellsbury deal — the Yankees have recent memory to help in their desire to keep the years down to a minimum.

With their hesitancy to commit to DJ, other teams are still on the prowl.

“I know for a fact from people I know in Toronto that the Blue Jays desperately want him,” Kay said Friday on his ESPN radio show. “And they’ve got a lot of infielders, too. They desperately want him.

MLB Insider and former Colorado Rockies general manager knows a thing or two about trading for DJ LeMahieu:

“I know DJ fairly well,” O’Dowd said. “I don’t think DJ is going to go to a place that he doesn’t want to go and play on a team that he doesn’t want to play on.”

“As betting man, I think he ends up with the Yankees,” O’Dowd said. “But if he doesn’t, I think he’ll end up in L.A., I know when I was in Colorado, (the Dodgers) loved him as a player. I don’t think that’s gone away. He fits the type of team they have perfectly.”

Considering LeMahieu wants to stay in New York, Cashman knows he has a bit of leverage in this situation. In addition, he’s also offered him a qualifying offer, which would force an alternative team to give up a draft selection if they signed LeMahieu.
Nonetheless, you could make the argument that DJ is a safe bet, considering his injury history and the dominance he has portrayed over the past several seasons. Even if he begins to deteriorate in the latter portion of the deal, he can always transition to first base, where it will take less of a toll on his body.