1. Letting DJ LeMahieu Walk — Without a Blockbuster in Place
The Yankees had better not let DJ LeMahieu go anywhere — at least, not without a king ready to take over shortstop.
It’s hard for Yankees fans not to be shortsighted about DJ LeMahieu, who is the platonic ideal of a leadoff hitter, and an utterly perfect fit in pinstripes.
I want to be right there with you on the rooftop, screaming, “Sign DJ!” into the dark night while my girlfriend corrals me with one arm and whispers, “I think maybe take it easy on the punch, my aunt is here.”
And the Yankees should sign DJ. It’ll be a mistake if they do not extend themselves slightly to do so. It’s that simple.
But retaining LeMahieu isn’t necessarily the be all, end all, and we have to take our blinders off and realize that there’s potentially more to it than committing long-term to both he and Gleyber Torres at shortstop.
Either a four- or five-year deal for LeMahieu, or a sly move to import the shortstop of the future, whether that’s Francisco Lindor, or one of Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, Trevor Story and Javier Baez next offseason. If LeMahieu leaves town and the next step of Brian Cashman’s plan is “Can Brian Roberts still fill in?” then that would be an unrepentant disaster.
I’m willing to theoretically accept LeMahieu’s departure if there’s something big waiting in the wings, and the Torres question does complicate things. The easiest solution, though, is simply signing the known quantity.
In that case, you don’t even open the door to disaster.