New York Yankees: Michael Kay finally loses it over Yankee offseason inaction

New York Yankees, Mets, Francisco Lindor

Michael Kay, known to the New York Yankees fans as the game caller for the New York Yankees, host of the Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio and the YES Network, has lost it when it comes to the Yankee’s inaction this offseason. The Mets trade for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco finally caused Kay to criticize the Yankees. He seems equally as upset with LeMahieu as he is with the Yankees.

“Here’s the deal: I always felt a perfect Plan B if you didn’t sign DJ LeMahieu would be to pivot, get Francisco Lindor, move Gleyber Torres to second. Boom, you’ve improved your defense,” Kay said on his radio show, via NJ.com.

“I’ve always been very, very honest when people were saying, ‘Why aren’t they signing LeMahieu?’ I said, ‘Well, what’s the rush? The great (free agent) players are still out there. Trevor Bauer hasn’t signed. George Springer hasn’t signed. J.T. Realmuto hasn’t signed. And DJ hasn’t signed.’ Very slow-moving market. But if this slow-moving game of chicken that the Yankees and LeMahieu are playing with each other cost them the chance at Lindor, that’s a bad job.”

The Post’s Joel Sherman reported that the Yankees and LeMahieu were $25 million apart in contract negotiations in mid-December. The big sticking point is that the Yankees want three years for $75 million. Reportedly LeMahieu wants a five-year contract to protect his security through age 38, when he may retire. According to reports, the New York Yankees might be willing to go four years at $88 million, but it appears that at this point, LeMahieu won’t budge. Meanwhile, with glaring pitching needs, the Yankees sit on their hands, awaiting an outcome to the DJ deal.

“You can’t sit here until February and allow DJ LeMahieu to make a decision,” said Kay, who started his Thursday show an hour early to discuss the breaking Lindor news.

“And if you’re DJ LeMahieu, you can’t sit there and let the Yankees play their game. They both have to come together: ‘What’s your best offer for me right now?’ And if DJ’s agent said (to the Yankees), ‘The only way we’re going to get this done is five years’ when he knows he’ll take four … They have to come to a come-to-Jesus meeting and say exactly what the deal is because if all of this posturing cost you your plan B, not good.

“It’s at the point now where do it or get off the pot. ‘Are you going to sign with us or not? Are you going to make me an offer or not?’ Enough of the game.”

Michael Kay has to understand the Yankee fans and writers are just as frustrated by the stalemate as he is. The sad part of the whole situation is that the clock is ticking and many possible Yankee targets have already signed or been traded to other teams.

 

New York Yankees: YES Network’s Michael Kay says Tanaka is probably gone

New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka and the New York Yankees had had a seven-year marriage that had now broken up when the Yankees failed to give him a one-year qualifying offer. There has been much talk recently that the Yankees will make a play to get Tanaka back, but at a much-discounted price and a much shorter contract. But at the same time, they have made it clear that their number one priority this offseason is retaining DJ LeMahieu at almost any cost. As time goes on, it seems that it will be more costly than the Yankees want, but they will do anything reasonable to keep him in pinstripes.

Everyone knows that the Yankees need pitching help. Still, they also know, as stated by New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner that they have lost more money than any other baseball team in the previous season and that he wishes to stay below the luxury tax threshold. Everything seems to hedge on what happens with LeMahieu, and much won’t happen until they know that outcome.

The YES Network’s Michael Kay says that if the costs to keep LeMahieu are too high, you probably will not see Masahiro Tanaka with the Yankees in 2021.

“Their number one priority, the organization wants to sign DJ LeMahieu,” Kay said now, can I sit here and tell you that it’s for whatever cost for however many years? No, I can’t. But that is what they want, and everything else is going to play off of that.

“And from what I’ve heard, if they get LeMahieu — it’s going to cost money — that might be the last big guy they get. So if everybody thinks it’s a fait accompli that Tanaka is coming back, I would really, really not hold my breath.”

Although Kay did not say it in so many words on his ESPN radio show, he seemed to indicate that if they sign LeMahieu, it may be the only big money the Yankees will spend. In other words, the Yankees will go cheap this offseason and hope to patch the pitching rotation together with what they have. The Yankees do have Luis Severino coming back before mid-season, and if they allow Domingo German to come back, they can patch the rest of it together with their young talent. He also thought that if they don’t re-sign Tanaka, they may go the way of the bargain basement for a mid-rotation pitcher.

“If they get (LeMahieu), I think Tanaka is gone,” Kay said. “That’s just my guess because I don’t think the money is going to be there to get Tanaka.

“If they get LeMahieu, it’s going to cost about $20 million (per season) and the days of Tanaka could be over. The Yankees will go with their young pitchers, or they could get somebody on a bargain-basement deal with all the free agents out there.”

However, regardless of what Michael Kay says, and he may be correct, you never know for sure what the secretive New York Yankee general manager Brian Cashman has up his sleeve. Sportswriters and fans alike tend to look at the big acquisitions out there and not the little gems that Cashman surprises us with. The most recent example is DJ LeMahieu. We will have to wait and see how this all plays out.