The Winter Meetings could be crucial for the Yankees and DJ LeMahieu.
During the 2019 Winter Meetings, the New York Yankees signed Gerrit Cole to a record-breaking contract. And at the annual gathering in 2017, they announced the Giancarlo Stanton blockbuster trade with the Miami Marlins. As you can see, in recent years, there’s a bit of a trend for momentous moves.
They mostly sat on the sidelines back in 2018 because they weren’t exactly interested in Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. They were saving that money for Cole in all likelihood.
But what about 2020? This December is a lot different due to the pandemic, which has forced teams to hold their purse close to their chests, but the Yankees are yet again in a similar situation. They can’t be idle, even if the market is still “developing” or “coming into focus.”
DJ LeMahieu likely needs to be re-signed (unless there’s another move in the works to address the middle infield). The starting rotation and bullpen need to be polished off. One more contact bat is essential.
The only potential problem here is that the meetings are virtual. It’s pretty much no different than your average offseason in which players are traveling to sit down with teams and talk business. This week will just have a higher volume of Zoom calls, that’s all. It’s hard to believe there will be any accelerated deals behind closed doors. That’s typically the result of all these players, agents and executives being in the same hotel and city for four days.
And we have to imagine there’s already been plenty of communication between the Yankees and LeMahieu’s agent. DJ wants to return. The Yankees want him back. Now it’s just all about who blinks first because we doubt there are many other teams lining up ready to pay the 32-year-old LeMahieu $100 million during a global pandemic.
What we can hope for is that the accelerated meetings LeMahieu has with other teams this week only confirms that nobody else is willing to break the bank and go far and above whatever the Yankees may have put on the table (if anything). If that’s evident to LeMahieu’s agent by the end of the week, then maybe we’re talking about a new contract with the Yankees by next weekend. Maybe. At least that’s what it feels like.
As for trades? We have NO idea how those will go down. We love seeing those kinds of deals transpire, but let’s focus on signing the guys we need during what’s expected to be a wildly uncertain few months.