2. DJ LeMahieu
It was a year ago that fans were demanding the Yankees give DJ LeMahieu a blank check. You couldn’t really argue it, either, unless you were looking at some wild advanced stats that hardly told the whole story about LeMahieu’s effectiveness.
He was the team MVP in 2019 and 2020. The Bombers don’t win the division in 2019 without him nor do they make the 2020 playoffs without him. Assuming Gleyber Torres made a seamless transition to shortstop, paying DJLM wouldn’t really be a hassle. Put the veteran at second base and you have your middle infield for the next three years.
Except, Torres is no longer a shortstop and will be playing second base from this point forward. That displaces LeMahieu, who is now making $15 million per season, experienced an unforeseen regression that we hope was the result of a nagging sports hernia issue, and has no full-time position.
Are the Yankees really about to put LeMahieu at a secondary position for the remainder of his six-year contract? He was supposed to be the second baseman who can fill in at first and third when needed … not a first and third baseman who can fill in at second when needed.
As for trade value, he’s in the same boat as Hicks. Completely untradeable unless the Yankees eat a ton of salary or part with younger talent. Here’s to hoping LeMahieu bounces back and becomes one of the team’s best players again, or else this is going to be really, really bad.
In the interim, though, he will hold the team back in some sense since he currently has no position and is coming off a below-average offensive season.