As most of you have heard, the New York Yankees are in danger of losing star infielder DJ LeMahieu. He’s becoming fed up with general manager Brian Cashman taking his good old time in offering him a reasonable contract extension. The Yankees are settled in at four years and aren’t biting on his aggressive tactics to speed up the process. Cashman is daring him to find an alternative club they will offer him more, but it could be ruining their relationship in the process.
According to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports, the Yankees are in danger of losing DJ LeMahieu:
A two-time batting champ and the New York Yankees’ best player for two seasons running, LeMahieu, according to a source close to his family, has become dismayed by the slow-play tactics of the Yankees, along with other clubs. Teams that have engaged with the LeMahieu camp say LeMahieu expects more than Josh Donaldson’s four-year, $92 million deal with the Minnesota Twins and at least on par with J.D. Martinez’s five years and $110 million with the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees, LeMahieu’s preferred club after two successful seasons in the Bronx, have not met those terms.
The 32-year-old LeMahieu has, therefore, asked his representatives to re-engage with teams that have previously shown the most interest, the source said, among them the Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets, and to reconnect with teams that reached out early in the free agent period, including the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox and others.
At this point, it is reasonable to consider alternative plans of action, LeMahieu could easily strike a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers or Toronto Blue Jays. Things are moving quickly with competing teams, as the Mets just concluded a massive blockbuster deal, acquiring Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco. The Yankees need to ensure they have the talent to compete, and while DJ represents arguably their best player, they could supplement his loss with more pitching and a shortstop with a familiar face.
The perfect backup plan:
1.) SP Trevor Bauer
While Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer might not get along, there’s nothing that solves feuds better than winning. Adding a player of Bauer’s quality to the rotation would instantly make the Yankees’ unit one of the best in the MLB.
Trevor won the Cy Young this past year and is extremely vocal on social media, which could be a negative thing in New York. However, he posted a 1.73 ERA with 12.33 strikeouts per nine over 73.0 innings this past year. Of course, the sample size is smaller than usual and should be considered as such.
The Cincinnati star is extremely a talented starter but has been inconsistent in the past and is looking to cash in after his best season yet. It doesn’t seem as if his market is astronomically high, so the Yankees might be able to land him and an additional infielder to supplement the loss of DJ.
2.) SS Didi Gregorius
Earlier this off-season, general manager Brian Cashman stated that Gleyber Torres was out of shape when the MLB started back up over the summer. He also indicated that his better position is second base, which could indicate a desire for the Yankees to replace him at shortstop.
In this scenario, they look to a familiar face, Didi Gregorius. Didi had a fantastic bounce-back season with the Philadelphia Phillies after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2019. He recorded a .284 average with 10 homers and 40 RBIs, including a career-low 11.8% strikeout rate.
Gregorius is a fan favorite and would plug an inconsistent position with ease. Torres would be able to move back to his more comfortable spot at second base, and the Yankees would have another lefty batter to work with in the lineup.
Adding Bauer and Gregorius might even be more beneficial than keeping LeMahieu in the first place.