Yankees take one step closer and two steps back in DJ LeMahieu negotiations

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu
Aug 29, 2020; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu throws the ball to first base for an out during the first inning against the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have found themselves in a tough position, flip-flopping between money and years regarding DJ LeMahieu’s contract negotiations.

At first, most believed the retention of LeMahieu would be simple, the Yankees would offer him a blank check, and he would sign it without hesitation. However, due to the financial damage from COVID-19, ownership is seeming to be a little bit more cautious these days with how they spend their money. The Yankees are already locked into multiple long term deals, particularly with Giancarlo Stanton and Gerrit Cole.

Reports have indicated that the Yankees are OK with a five-year contract for DJ, who wants to stay put for quite a while. The issue has now boiled down to money, and approximately $5 million per season in differential.

“As of Saturday night, the gulf between the Yankees and free agent second baseman DJ LeMahieu was wider than $25 million, a person with knowledge of the situation told NJ Advance Media.”

If anybody is deserving of this type of deal, it is DJ, who has spent the last two seasons with the Yankees dominating at an elite level. His ability to move around the infield and supplement injuries makes him incredibly valuable, especially down the line when his contract becomes a bit more burdensome and his quality inevitably drops off with age.

He can slide into the first base spot easily, utilizing his gold glove capabilities to scoop balls out of the dirt, as we’ve seen the past two years. His offense has been simply incredible, finishing the 2020 season with a .364 average, 10 homers, and 27 RBIs. He’s one of the more clutch hitters is in the MLB and is the Yankees’ fearless leader off hitter.

As frustration continues to grow within the fanbase as ownership lacks aggression when it comes to signing LeMahieu, the consensus is that he will remain in pinstripes.

Reports have indicated that the Toronto Blue Jays are actively pursuing his talents, and while they have a solid number of infielders, they understand how amazing he’s been, especially when playing against the Bombers.

Expect things to continue developing slowly and there to be snags in the discussions. Eventually, I believe the Yankees will collapse and offer him the deal he desires.