If you haven’t learned by now, there are different types of New York Yankees fans when things aren’t going so well. The smallest piece of the pie are the “chill” and optimistic bunch.
Then you have those who are simply worried. “33-30 doesn’t seem great. There are a number of issues. What should we do?”
Then we have the angry mob, crucifying any and every player after a bad night without taking into account their recent performances.
Then there’s the paranoid crew, who assume nothing will turn around; that the unforeseen regressions are here to stay; and that this current iteration of the Yankees is … over. (OK, it might be, they’re not entirely wrong).
Then you have the Twitter maniacs who need to be institutionalized, and one of them made it into MLB insider Mark Feinsand’s mailbag this week. How did Feinsand allow this infiltration?!
This particular fan asked if DJ LeMahieu might headline the potential pieces the Yankees could sell at the deadline if the losing continues. Luckily, Feinsand brought this one back down to earth.
Yankees: Why are we entertaining a DJ LeMahieu trade question?!
Here’s what the MLB.com reporter had to say in response:
"“Given that the Yankees just signed LeMahieu to a six-year contract, I have to think that he’s a player they consider to be part of the team’s future.“LeMahieu aside, I could see general manager Brian Cashman getting creative if the season looks like it’s slipping away from the Yankees’ grasp. Remember 2016? New York dealt Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Carlos Beltrán before the Deadline, bringing back a haul of prospects including Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield and Dillon Tate.”"
Good point. The Yankees pivoted in 2016, got themselves quite the hauls for those three veterans, and turned it around by appearing in the ALCS a year later. Something to consider. Feinsand cited Luke Voit and Miguel Andújar as possible options.
We get it. LeMahieu has been a colossal disappointment. But he just signed a six-year, $90 million contract. The Yankees giving up on him after a lackluster 60 games when he was just the team MVP for two straight seasons would be kind of crazy, even if he did, theoretically, “mess up” the team’s infield plans by forcing Gleyber Torres over to shortstop. Also, please tell us who will take LeMahieu’s $15 million annual salary (for his age-32 to -37 seasons) when he’s hitting .254 with a .653 OPS? The answer is nobody, unless New York ate a chunk of the deal, which would be the definition of a waste of money.
If the Yankees are selling anything in the event they continue to fall out of contention, look for bullpen pieces to go first. Relievers are sold at a premium each and every July. That’s not going to change in 2021.
Even in the unlikely event the Yankees go full teardown, fans can expect DJLM to stay. There are so many other moveable and less valuable pieces that could bring the organization a worthwhile return.