Here’s what a contract extension for Yankees star DJ LeMahieu might look like.
It was our understanding that the delayed start to the MLB season would provide front offices with more than enough time to sort out expiring contracts and potentially offer extensions to players out-performing their current deals.
When it comes to the New York Yankees we honestly thought an extension with DJ LeMahieu would have been agreed upon before the campaign. After all, the 32-year-old slugger is imperative to the club‘s championship aspirations and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Not only that, but general manger Brian Cashman doesn’t normally wait until the last minute to get deals done.
While the lack of urgency to get LeMahieu signed is a cause for concern, we would advise against hitting the panic button. The Yankees are simply too smart (and flush with cash) to let the three-time All-Star walk, so let’s dive into what an extension for him might look like.
As we know, DJ is playing out the final season of his two-year, $24 million deal with New York, and he’s been pretty outspoken about wanting to remain with the franchise. While money obviously isn’t a problem for the Yankees, not signing the stud leadoff hitter prior to the start of the 2020 season will cost them a few more zeroes on his new contract.
Through 17 games, LeMahieu is batting .431 with a 1.048 OPS and an American League-leading 28 hits. Those mind-boggling numbers come a season after he hit .327/.375/.518 with 26 home runs and 102 RBI on his way to finishing fourth in AL MVP voting.
When you take all of that production into consideration, it’s pretty clear that the former batting champ deserves an extension worth close to $20 million annually. There’s no doubting his value has skyrocketed following his scorching hot start to 2020, so we’re probably looking at something like a four-year, $75 million deal.
The Yankees are going to pay the man, there’s little doubt there. But the length of the deal could be somewhat of an issue. DJLM will be 33 in less than a year, so we’re probably looking at a four-year situation considering the Bombers will have Giancarlo Stanton through his age-38 season under his mammoth deal.
On top of that, the team still needs pitching help and has to set money aside for Aaron Judge/Gleyber Torres extensions down the road.
Regardless, an extension like this would ensure that LeMahieu spends the rest of his prime years in the Bronx, will pay him handsomely, and will only bolster the Yankees’ chances at capturing their first World Series title (or more) in over a decade. Seriously, who says no?