If you’re mad about the Yankees-DJ LeMahieu contract, it’s time to re-evaluate your life.
People were debating whether or not DJ LeMahieu deserved a fifth year on his contract! For what reason?!
Well, there was one legitimate reason, but it still didn’t even really matter. Most thought LeMahieu would be snagging a deal in the $20 million AAV range, with some even predicting $25 million. Fans were rightfully concerned about the Yankees’ potential apprehensiveness to strike a deal quickly due to luxury tax concerns in ’21 and ’22.
Do we care about the luxury tax concerns? Nope! Spend all the billionaires’ money! Every penny! But in all seriousness, everyone got the best of both worlds on Friday when the Yankees and LeMahieu agreed to a six-year, $90 million contract. There’s not a single reason to complain about this.
That equates to $15 million per year. It gives the Yankees the financial flexibility in the short term and provides DJ with his much desired long-term security. Every. Body. Wins. And before you take out your accounting magnifying glass to complain about something, let’s just stop that in its tracks, because paying DJ $15 million in 2026 will hardly be a concern.
What will the luxury tax threshold by then be? $230 million? What evidence do you have to suggest that it won’t be continually increasing? In 2017, it was $195 million. In 2021, it’s $210 million. DJ’s $15 million salary, whether he’s a key contributor or not, will be a minor blip on the radar.
Plus, if you’re looking ahead to the 2026 payroll, then you’re clearly not zeroing in on the Yankees’ premier World Series window, which is in 2021 and 2022. That’s all that matters right now. Leave the financial gymnastics to general manager Brian Cashman, who has always figured out a way to shed salary. Look no further than Jacoby Ellsbury’s disappearing act or the Brian McCann trade or A-Rod getting reassigned in the organization.
At this point, if you’re complaining, that’s just your DNA. You’re an unhappy person. You have trouble finding joy in … joy. And Yankees fans don’t want to hear it. Does re-signing DJ LeMahieu put the Yankees over the top in the World Series conversation? No. But it maintains a paramount continuity that the team couldn’t afford to lose … because if that happened, then we’re talking about a major step back that would be hard to recover from.
Now that this is settled and the Yankees have ample wiggle room to address other areas of the roster, those who were spooked about “spending too much money” can go back to writing “boobs” on their Texas Instruments calculators while the team uses the leftover cash to round out the roster and make it a bonafide championship contender.