The New York Yankees, after months of slow negotiations and minor free agent signings, got their man: DJ LeMahieu is returning to the Bronx on a deal that will be worth approximately $90 million, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Passan also reports that the expected length of the contract is six years. When a player was seeking at least five years and $110 million (which would have been a $22 million average annual value, or AAV) getting him for a $15 million AAV is a huge win for Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.
Looking at it objectively, LeMahieu also stands to be benefited. He doesn’t get the $20 million or $22 million per season he was looking for, but he will be paid $15 million per year through his age-38 season, when he probably won’t be a good enough hitter to hit the market again and look for another extra-lucrative payday.
The Yankees could have a little more wiggle room
The Yankees, now that they signed their man for $15 million per season, could potentially have a little more room in the payroll to hunt for starting pitching and bullpen help.
With LeMahieu staying with the New York Yankees, the infield is set. He will return to his usual second base role, Gleyber Torres will handle shortstop duties, where he will need to show improvement, Gio Urshela will be in the hot corner, and Luke Voit will play first base.
Now, the Yankees can use the extra millions they saved by getting LeMahieu at a lower AAV and try to bring pitching help. Corey Kluber is reportedly looking for something between $6 million and $8 million, and he could make for a nice target.
Other starting pitchers and relievers remain available as of Friday morning. Now, after stalling for months, the Yankees offseason can officially begin, as they already know how much money they will allocate in DJ LeMahieu for the next six years.