Why hasn’t DJ LeMahieu accepted a very good offer from the Yankees?
New York Yankees fans know DJ LeMahieu is the reigning team MVP. They know he’s likely integral for their World Series hopes. But at this point, it feels like the AL batting champion and his representation are holding the team hostage this offseason.
Though there’s very much been valid criticism of the Yankees’ front office for being largely inactive, because, well, it’s pretty easy to just plan for a worst-case scenario LeMahieu contract price-wise, at some point, the star slugger just needs to probably accept the reported lucrative one that’s sitting in front of him.
Then again, we don’t know how true this is, but if LeMahieu is being this stubborn about a fifth year, fans should probably begin growing frustrated. According to reports, the Yankees have offered a four-year, $84 million contract, but LeMahieu wants five years for $110. And when you throw in MLB insider Jeff Passan’s comments from Thursday, it just feels like LeMahieu is making this more difficult than it needs to be.
"“I’ll be honest, I don’t think the Dodgers are all that great a threat on LeMahieu,” Passan said on ‘The Michael Kay Show’ this past Thursday. “I just don’t think they’re going to go to the level financially where he wants, what he deserves and what he ultimately is going to get. I think they’re there for the discount, and they’re there to say, ‘Hey, you want a ring? We’ll get you one here.’ But I don’t see the Dodgers as being real players with LeMahieu.”"
So if the Dodgers aren’t big players, the Mets have him on the periphery, and the Blue Jays probably aren’t offering anything close to $80+ million, what in the world are we waiting for? That’s by no means a disrespectful offer from the Yankees (if it’s true) and, as we said, general manager Brian Cashman isn’t going to negotiate against himself.
We’re always on board with players coming out on top, but LeMahieu has to know he’s the biggest domino for the Yankees this offseason. They’re a bit handcuffed in terms of making other transactions if they don’t know where they stand with him. Additionally, not to be too harsh, but there’s an argument to be made that LeMahieu wouldn’t have come close to sniffing this kind of money if the Yankees didn’t sign him to that two-year deal after 2018. At that time, aside from the Dodgers and Red Sox, no team offered better lineup protection.
So, while it’s really none of our business, we feel $21 million per year across four seasons is pretty damn good, especially entering your age-32 season. It’s definitely not a lowball offer that would make you hold out for months.
Taking sides here is not what we want to do — we just want this to be fair for all parties involved. Given we projected a four-year, $80-$88 million deal for LeMahieu and factoring in the countless other contract/roster issues the Yankees are faced with right now and within the next couple of years, perhaps it’s best LeMahieu’s representation ends this standoff if that reported offer is indeed on the table.