As the contract negotiations drag on for the New York Yankees and DJ LeMahieu, other teams are beginning to pick up steam, contacting arguably the best hitter in the MLB to gauge his interest in leaving the Bronx.
LeMahieu has expressed his desire to remain in pinstripes, but the reality is, general manager Brian Cashman and DJâ€˜s representatives are quite far apart in their expectations on an extension. Reports have indicated they are $25 million and more apart from finding a compromise, but Cashman is willing to wait as long as it takes to sign DJ without going over-budget. However, this method could be costly (pun intended).
The Toronto Blue Jays are one club that have had their eye on DJ and hold him in high regard. One Blue Jay even went as far as to say heâ€™s the number one player he would want to play with in the MLB.
“Heâ€™s probably the No. 1 player Iâ€™d want to play with in the league,” Bo Bichette said, appearing on Ross Stripling’s “Big Swing” podcast (h/tÂ Peter BotteÂ of theÂ New York Post). “If that would happen, that would be awesome for us, but either way, man, our teamâ€™s pretty good already.”
LeMahieu leaving the Yankees would be devastating, as supplementing his loss would be virtually impossible. Nonetheless, the available money would allow the Yankees to gauge interest in signing a premium pitcher like Trevor Bauer. Realistically, pitching has been their Achillesâ€™ heel, and if all of their hitters can stay healthy, they have plenty of firepower to dominate the regular season and playoffs.
A new team has entered the ring with the New York Yankees:
The Mets recently contacted D.J. LeMahieu, which could set up a New York-New York battle for the Yankeesâ€™ best player two years running.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 23, 2020
This is the news nobody wanted to hear, the New York Mets have contacted LeMahieu on his services and price tag. Ultimately, he wouldnâ€™t have to move very far, taking the seven train from Grand Central to Citi Field.
While this would be an unfortunate development, the Mets donâ€™t want to meddle in the Yankeesâ€™ business, considering the Bombers vouched for new owner Steve Cohen to become the leader of the struggling franchise. With every passing day, though, the Yankees are allowing DJ to consider alternative options. Cashman is playing a risky game, hoping that no other teams increase his price tag and the value they placed on him simply isnâ€™t as high as heâ€™s asking for. That would force his representatives to settle for less, which would allow Cashman to save a bit of money and re-allocated toward other positions of weakness.
Time is of the essence, and with every passing day, DJ seems to slip away a little bit more. The Yankeesâ€™ general manager remains confident that they will find common ground, but he continues to state that there is no guarantee.