The Dodgers could become a threat to the Yankees in the DJ LeMahieu chase.
It’d be nice if Hal Steinbrenner would allow New York Yankees fans to enjoy Thanksgiving, but nope! DJ LeMahieu is still a free agent, so everyone will need to be creeping under the table to look at their phones and check on the updates in the event the star slugger makes a decision on Thursday (he probably won’t, but you never know).
Instead, we’ll still have to worry about LeMahieu getting poached by another team willing to spend big money. We’ve already heard about the Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals getting in on the action. The New York Mets and Boston Red Sox remain much lesser threats — ones that we won’t pay any mind to.
But the Los Angeles Dodgers? Yup. We WILL fret about that, especially if they don’t bring back Justin Turner. If the World Series champs sign DJLM in the event Turner leaves, they can alleviate a lot of their infield problems.
Here’s what Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic wrote:
“One might argue that the Dodgers should not be worried about exceeding the threshold, particularly when they might regain flexibility after ’21 with left-hander Clayton Kershaw, closer Kenley Jansen, shortstop Corey Seager and utility man Chris Taylor eligible for free agency. Then again, they are likely to re-sign Kershaw, spend big money on Seager (or his replacement) and absorb Cody Bellinger’s sharp salary increases in arbitration. Which is why Plan A for now seems to be Turner at third and Gavin Lux at second, with the potential for the DH in the NL only increasing Turner’s appeal.
“The loss of Turner, on the other hand, would change the equation for the Dodgers, exacerbating their need for right-handed power. LeMahieu then would become a viable, though more costly, option at third.”
OK, so, this isn’t a report about the Dodgers’ interest in LeMahieu, but it is a trusted insider connecting the dots, which is nothing to dismiss. If we know anything about the Dodgers, it’s that they’re always ready to address losses with even bigger (or, at the very least, comparable) gains.
LeMahieu, if the Dodgers can stomach coughing up the money, allows the Dodgers to do so much with their infield, assuming, of course, he’s willing to be flexible. If Turner is gone, all of these scenarios could be in play:
- LeMahieu at second base, Gavin Lux at shortstop, Corey Seager at third base, Max Muncy at first base
- LeMahieu at first/third, Seager at shortstop, Lux at second, Muncy at first/third
- LeMahieu at first/third, Lux at shortstop, Seager at second, Muncy at first/third
There are a ton of possibilities, though it’s important to note we’re unsure how willing LeMahieu would be acting as a defensive Swiss Army knife at this point in his career. Perhaps he’d be willing to bend for the defending champs? We hope not. We hope this doesn’t even come close to being under consideration for the Dodgers.
Anyway, enjoy your turkey!