Here’s the easiest way for Yankees to fix DJ LeMahieu contract negotiations
The Yankees and DJ LeMahieu can solve their issues with this resolution.
We know, Yankees fans, we’re a bit worried too. New York had an exclusive negotiating window with DJ LeMahieu for quite some time and couldn’t get the team MVP to sign on the dotted line. Now, he’ll be exploring opportunities with other clubs, but will obviously return to the Yankees before he makes a final decision.
It’s good that the dialogue is open and candid, but at the same time, should we really be in this predicament? LeMahieu vastly out-performed this two-year, $24 million contract and saved the Yankees in 2019 and 2020. If not for him, who knows where this team would’ve been with all the injuries and disappointment.
The two sides are reportedly $25 million apart in talks. But the Yankees can’t be penny-pinching when it comes to an impact player such as LeMahieu. We all saw his value to the team and it’s unquestioned. But based on the rumors/reports, the Yankees, one could argue, aren’t going high enough, while some might say DJ is aiming too high.
So let’s solve this with a team option or another five-year offer, shall we?
- Option 1: four-year, $80 million contract with a $20 million team option for Year 5 (or an $4 million buyout) — we actually recently pitched a four-year, $84 million deal
- Option 2: five-year, $90 million contract, no options
Option 1 is better for LeMahieu from a fiscal standpoint. He’ll make $84 million over four years ($21 million AAV) and the Yankees won’t have to worry about paying upwards of $20 million in the fifth year of the deal if they’re not comfortable with the way the slugger is performing by that time.
Option 2 is better for the Yankees, but it also gives LeMahieu that guaranteed fifth year he reportedly desires. The Yankees’ current four-year, $75 million reported offer pays DJLM $18.5 million per season. This five-year, $92 million deal would pay him $18.4 million per season. This could perhaps appease both sides. The Yankees would save a few bucks while LeMahieu would get five guaranteed years and still get paid handsomely.
After all, $18.4 million per year for your age 32-36 seasons is a pretty good deal if you ask us. This is pretty much the contract Josh Donaldson signed with the Twins last offseason.
Throw in LeMahieu’s recent two-year deal onto this, with either option, and it turns into a six- or seven-year deal that averages out to about $16.5-$18 million per season. It seems fair, if you ask us.
It all depends what LeMahieu covets more — an extra year or another $20 million salary. Perhaps it’s both, but not too many players/teams get exactly what they want in negotiations — and we doubt many other teams will be lining up to drop $100 million over five years in front of him. Concessions must be made by both sides. We’d like to think one of the two above options can settle this whole thing.
There are other roster needs the team needs to address instead of engaging in a stalemate that isn’t over a whole lot.