The New York Yankees are quickly running out of time to lock and DJ LeMahieu to a long term extension. General manager Brian Cashman is buying his time with the star infielder, who most recently won the batting title in 2020 with a .364 average, 10 homers, and 27 RBIs. He had a career-low 9.7% strikeout rate and career-high .421 on-base percentage. His defense was a bit off this past year, considering the abbreviated 2020 season and a thumb injury limiting his efficiency.
Nonetheless, teams are starting to pick up steam in their hunt for DJ, and three squads have already made contact with his representatives.
Cashman’s plan is clear, allow other teams to enter the fold and see if they bid higher. Ultimately, Cashman believes that DJ is worth a specific amount, and he’s gotten evaluations right in the past. If no other teams are willing to offer five years and $25 million per, Cashman will win the negotiation battle and force LeMahieu to settle for less. The Yankees want him on a four-year deal since they already have Giancarlo Stanton and Gerrit Cole on the payroll for quite some time.
Here are the three teams the New York Yankees are battling for LeMahieu’s services:
The New York Mets have inquired about DJ LeMahieu, according to Jon Heyman:
The Mets recently contacted D.J. LeMahieu, which could set up a New York-New York battle for the Yankees’ best player two years running.
The Blue Jay have made their desire to bring DJ to Toronto known, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported:
The Blue Jays, sources said, have emerged as significant players in the LeMahieu sweepstakes — perhaps the biggest threat to him re-signing with the New York Yankees, with whom a significant gap remains.
Now, a new team has entered the mix, and it’s those pesky Los Angeles Dodgers, per Joel Sherman of the NY Post:
LeMahieu’s non-Yankee suitors look a lot like those of Bauer — Mets, Blue Jays and “watch the Dodgers.”
The LA Dodgers have formed one of the best clubs in baseball, considering they traded for Mookie Betts last year and signed him to a long-term deal. They have incredible offensive talent and solid pitching, let alone impressive depth.
With the Yankees struggling to stay within their means financially, the Dodgers have set themself up perfectly for the future and could easily swipe DJ and retain their status as the best team in baseball with ease.