Yankees insider confirms DJ LeMahieu’s agent’s contract demands and we’re worried
We’re just not sure if the Yankees are going to meet DJ LeMahieu’s contract demands.
It’s hard to be patient during this edition of the MLB offseason because we’re usually accustomed to a fast-paced market, but this one is going to be slower and more painful than we could’ve ever imagined. And when we’re talking about DJ LeMahieu, expect it to be even worse.
While we keep hearing that the New York Yankees remain the favorite to bring back the MVP finalist slugger, it’s hard to take that to the grave when some contradictory statements surround that belief. Take, for instance, the latest contract demands from LeMahieu’s agent, which were confirmed by YES Network’s Jack Curry.
We’ve loosely heard the figures attached to DJ, but now that they’re coming from Curry we can take them as the next best thing to the truth … and with that, we’re getting worried. LeMahieu’s agent wants five years and $100 million for the veteran.
Let’s preface this by saying Curry remains confident DJLM will be returning to the Bronx. However, there are a lot of contradictory statements/clues here, so there’s reason to be concerned.
First, he says he doesn’t think the Yankees would be willing to go that high, both in years and money. Secondly, he revealed that the Yankees want him to explore the open market to see what he can get, though they want him to come back to them before he makes any final decision. If the conversations have been positive and there’s belief LeMahieu returns, then we’re not sure how those two nuggets fit the narrative.
The good news? The Yankees had the same situation with Gerrit Cole at the winter meetings last year. He explored his options, he came back to the Yankees, and New York actually went beyond their comfort zone and gave him the massive nine-year, $324 million deal.
The difference here, however? The Yankees-Cole situation was really non-negotiable. New York needed a No. 1 starter badly and that was the one opportunity the front office had to secure a premier guy in his prime. And those negotiations did not take place during a global pandemic.
LeMahieu, who, some might argue, is just as valuable (if not more than) Cole, will be 33 years old in July. He’s went above and beyond to prove his worth, but the Yankees could have a much easier time finding a replacement for him than they would searching for an ace of Cole’s status, especially with the price of starting pitching exponentially rising year after year. That’s not to devalue anything LeMahieu has done, it’s just giving you a look into the thought process of front offices as everything remains murky.
Aces are aces. There are very few and there’s no advanced stat to replace them. For a second baseman approaching his mid-30s? Well, you can bet numbers can be crunched to find someone who brings similar value to the table as LeMahieu, even though that’s a tall task. We’re not advocating for that, we just know it can be done, because we’ve seen it happen before with other star position players throughout the league.
Hold onto your hats, folks. Hopefully this doesn’t get ugly.