Yankees: MLB insider reveals biggest threat to NYY in DJ LeMahieu chase

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 06: DJ LeMahieu #26 of the New York Yankees reacts after striking out against the Tampa Bay Rays during the seventh inning in Game Two of the American League Division Series at PETCO Park on October 06, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 06: DJ LeMahieu #26 of the New York Yankees reacts after striking out against the Tampa Bay Rays during the seventh inning in Game Two of the American League Division Series at PETCO Park on October 06, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Jeff Passan revealed the biggest threat to the Yankees in the DJ LeMahieu chase, and it’s exactly who you thought it was.

The Yankees and DJ LeMahieu are locked in a public game of negotiating chicken.

And though it still seems unlikely to lead to him landing elsewhere, the exclusive window of contract discussions has certainly ended, and other teams have now leapt into the fray.

So, who’s showing the most interest? Steve Cohen’s Mets? The Justin Turner-less Dodgers?

Predictably, the Yankees’ AL East foes featuring the player who called LeMahieu “the best hitter in baseball” are making the hardest charge. According to Jeff Passan, the Blue Jays have emerged as the “biggest threat” to LeMahieu re-signing with the Bronx Bombers, which makes all the sense in the world and is very frustrating.

We’re going to have to see it to believe it, but it’s plain as day that the Jays, who nipped at the Yankees’ heels ahead of schedule all throughout 2020, are ready to make the next step as division challengers.

And stealing LeMahieu, a truly elite bat and MVP-caliber player, because his previous behemoth team decided to cheap out would signal a new beginning.

However, everything from LeMahieu’s latest leaked demands to the Blue Jays entering the fray with aplomb, seems like a negotiating tool from either side.

Count Toronto’s stars as “all in” on LeMahieu, though, as Bo Bichette famously declared the second baseman to be baseball’s best hitter last week, without a hint of hyperbole.

The honest reason this is still unlikely to happen? It would be generationally embarrassing for the Yankees.

Losing LeMahieu after publicly declaring him your top priority would be embarrassing enough, but letting him walk within your division after presumably learning of the contract figures Toronto has presented him with would be window-closing. The Blue Jays are the sort of destination the Yankees have to avoid at all costs — even if if blows up your theoretical financial plan, you match their offer and don’t look back.

At least, you do if you care about maintaining any sort of dignity.