When assessing the New York Yankees’ season, it becomes evident that it might be time to make some tough decisions about notable names. These moves may involve not re-signing certain players, while others could result in trades. One of those names might come as a surprise, and it’s DJ LeMahieu.
It is essential to acknowledge that LeMahieu has a Modified No-Trade Clause in his contract, which means there may be limitations on the teams he can be traded to. However, this doesn’t rule out the possibility of trading him to another team this offseason.
When it comes to the potential trade of LeMahieu, three primary reasons support the idea that this offseason might be the right time to make such a move.
DJ LeMahieu was one of the lone bright spots for the Yankees this season
LeMahieu was one of the lone bright spots on the Yankees this season and he could be heavily marketed to get prospects and players to help the team in both the future and the present. The Yankees need to get starting pitchers as the rotation was a disaster to the point where they have to blow up the rotation. Well, aside from Gerrit Cole and Clarke Schmidt as both played well — it would be a big mistake getting rid of them.
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LeMahieu is getting older
Another thing to think about is that LeMahieu is also not getting any younger, as he is currently 35 years old, and there’s a chance he could decline further. The Yankees should consider trading him now to maximize the return before his performance deteriorates. He showed signs of that earlier in the season and while he did play better it is a sign that LeMahieu could be regressing.
Getting out of his contract could help economically in acquiring Ohtani
The Yankees are currently paying LeMahieu $15 million, and he’s under contract for the next three seasons, with his contract expiring in 2027. While it’s not an exorbitant amount, trading him could free up additional funds for a potential bidding war to acquire Shohei Ohtani.
It appears that the Angels may not retain Ohtani, given his unhappiness last season and their known reluctance, throughout franchise history, to exceed the luxury tax threshold (excluding last season when they made a head-scratching move by buying at the deadline).
Ohtani is a top-tier talent who, prior to his arm injury, was arguably the best player in the league while excelling in two different positions. Despite his injury, there’s likely to be intense competition for his services. Given the Yankees’ reputation for a high payroll, it’s prudent to accumulate financial resources to outbid other teams. Shedding LeMahieu’s contract could significantly bolster their chances of securing Ohtani economically.
The upcoming offseason is expected to be challenging, given the disappointing season. Several notable names might find themselves with different teams next season. DJ LeMahieu could be among those, and while losing him will be painful, it could benefit the team in both the short and long term. Regardless of the decision regarding LeMahieu, Yankees fans will always cherish the memories he brought to the team. It will be interesting to see what will happen to LeMahieu.