The DJ LeMahieu contract negotiations affect everybody in different ways. For New York Yankees fans, it is frustrating, but for players, they are begging management to lock him up on a long-term deal. Hot stove interviews have included Luke Voit and Clint Frazier, both of whom have spoken about LeMahieu and his value to the team.
As one of the best players in baseball, letting him walk in free agency would be considered malpractice. DJ is not only a player, but he is a mentor and an exemplary Yankee. He does everything the right way, training hard during the off-season, and carrying himself with humbleness and confidence. He is the perfect player for youngsters to learn the ropes from. His value comes in many different shapes and sizes.
Frazier seems to be at the point of begging, stating his respect for LeMahieu and what he brings to the squad.
â€œI need DJ to come back because he and I just started developing a good relationship,â€™â€™ Frazier said on Bucky Dentâ€™sÂ â€œDeep to Leftâ€ podcast. â€œBy that I mean pouring information into your head, having a lot more in-depth conversations.â€
There is no reason the Yankees wouldnâ€™t manage to retain him, other than the fact that he wants a five-year deal, and the Yankees want to keep it at four years. After a fantastic two-year spell in the Bronx, with DJ finishing the 2020 season with a .364 batting average and career-low 9.7% strikeout rate, he has earned his right to a long-term deal.
â€œHeâ€™s about to get paid because of the way he went about his routine in such a good way and developed, dude, into like the best player in Major League Baseball that Iâ€™ve seen.â€
It is hard to argue with Frazier here, who himself is looking to establish a starting spot on the roster. Frazier had his best season as a pro in 2020, logging a .267 average with eight homers and 26 RBIs over 39 games.
The 26-year-old outfielder had a tumultuous defensive season in 2019 but backed it up as a Gold Glove finalist, finally witnessing his transformation and involvement as a professional. Ego issues plagued him in the past, but he is now humble and learning from a guy like LeMahieu, who does everything right. His friendship and mentor means the world to him, so keeping him in pinstripes is just as meaningful to Clint as it is to the fans.