In another time and a different era, DJ LeMahieu has a three or four-year deal of $100 million and returns to the Yankees. As of Monday, LeMahieu and the 2020 American League MVP Award finalist are far apart.
And there should be no questions or continued back-and-forth where this stands with LeMahieu and the Yankees. Though, consider the economics of baseball, the loss of major revenue for the Yankees and 29 other teams. Their claim of losing upwards of a billion or more during the short and coronavirus season of 2020 has some validity.
But, I doubt it was billions as the league claims it to be because owners have plenty of insurance money and are protected. They also have other means of paying the bills and have cut back staff, personnel, scouting divisions. They have condensed their minor league affiliates.
So, believe me the Yankees can afford to grant the 32-year LeMahieu upwards of three to five years and remain in the Bronx, unless, of course, they opt to utilize their available resources and shop for another starter or two to complement Gerrit Cole and the starting rotation.
Unless of course they are evaluating the worth to bring back Masahiro Tanaka, regardless, the Yankees have the resources to bring back Tanaka and LeMahieu and it won’t break their bank.
If you can believe the Yanless lost a billion or more, due to a curtailed 2020 season and no fans to generate revenue, well show me the books. But the Yankees and MLB owners will never open the books so bypass that picture.
Regardless, the Yankees and representatives of LeMahieu are not close to a contract and that according to all reports. Though, last week, general manager Brian Cashman said negotiations are continuing.
“We’re going to try and keep him here,” Cashman said.
Well, the Yankees are taking their time to keep LeMahieu in the Bronx. And if this is a matter of a few million more, a reported $25 million gap, that is worth the price.
And because this is DJ LeMahieu, the reigning AL batting champion, with a .336/.386/.536 slash line in two years with the Yankees, there should be no questions asked. The Yankees need this fan favorite back in the Bronx.
Again, in another era this deal would have been done weeks ago. And the late George Steinbrenner would have made sure this deal was done. And I recall, “The Boss” in his era had no hesitations in re-signing an all-star and everyday leadoff hitter.
LeMahieu, certainly has been a catalyst of the Yankees lineup the past two years in the Bronx. You don’t open the gates at the cathedral in the Bronx and expect to acquire a player of this magnitude who consistently gets on base.
Let’s take this to another level. Again, in another era, George Steinbrenenr, with Cashman as his GM, would throw a fit if one of his profiled players left the Bronx and returned in another uniform.
And with LeMahieu, a target and reportedly in negotiations with other takers, the contract would have been done in the Steinbrenner era. A thought of the cross-town Mets as a probable player to this has irked the Yankees fan base.
And that should provide an incentive for the Yankees brass, Cashman in particular, to get this deal done.
A longtime NL insider, with numerous reports about LeMahieu, said that he is the toughest out in baseball. Against the shift, LeMahieu will beat you. He works the count and gets on base.
But the Yankees are not players in free agency as of yet. I ask, you expect that to continue and regardless of the financial gloom that has been reported? Hefty contracts to Gianarlo Stanton and Cole should make no difference.
Because the Yankees always seem to find a way.
Cashman said, the intentions are to re-sign LeMahieu.He also said that free agency is “very complicated and tricky. It’s a competition. The dance and conversations will continue.”
And this conversation can only have that one and only conclusion. Re-sign DJ LeMahieu. He is the Yankees shortstop. Unless of course, there is another plan in motion.
But the thinking inside those hallowed halls of Yankee Stadium is they want to play the game. It’s about economics and the Yankees going in another direction is difficult to understand.
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