Not at this writing, but it sure seems like it. I don’t think we’re alone here in bracing for the news that free agent DJ LeMahieu will be signing with another team — probably a division rival or, you watch — the Mets.
All we’ve heard for days, now weeks turning into months is that LeMahieu is the Yankees number one acquisition priority of the 2020-21 off-season from the Yankees and a gang of New York baseball media types in general.
Now we hear the Yankees are more than willing to not strike first and retain LeMahieu, but allow him to be seduced by propositions from every team. Most who honestly desire his place in their lineup, some who want nothing more than to jack up the Yankees contract offer.
Here’s a quote from GM Brian Cashman (h/t MLBTradeRumors):
“The atmosphere is good, the fact that he wants to stay and we’d like to keep him. But that doesn’t guarantee anything because in free agency, you know, anything can happen. So, you know, we’ll see what happens over the course of time but our intent is to try to find a way to make it happen.”
We’re not in the room nor have access to anyone that is, but this just screams that the Yankees are willing to let DJ LeMahieu walk.
One side of the argument is DJ is 32, and some wonder if the offensive production since his time in pinstripes is sustainable, especially over the next 5 years that he’s seeking — if that reported number is indeed true. Especially at an estimated $25M per year — if that reported number is indeed true. On December 20th, Brendan Kuty (NJ.com) reported the Yankees are offering $75M across four years.
That divide, along with the fact that other suitors are now likely driving up the price does not bode well for New York — at least the team in The Bronx.
There’s been some really interesting takes on this in Yankees hot stove banter over the past weeks, and Pinstripe Alley has been a must-read. Don’t miss ‘The case against re-signing DJ LeMahieu‘ by Peter Brody @PBrods7.
And now this: ‘DJ LeMahieu Rumors: Blue Jays ‘Significant Players’ for Yankees FA; Mets Linked‘ by Timothy Rapp at Bleacher Report.
It looks like everything will continue at it’s glacial pace until all hell breaks loose.
The Run That Never Was
The window is slowly but steadily closing on what looked for sure like stretch of pinstripe glory. Driven by great drafting, trades and signings, in 2016 the Yankees seemed poised for a minute to give the Core 5 a run for their money in the history books.
Judge, Sanchez, Didi, Hicks, Castro, the Toddfather. With leadership from CC and Gardy, and the steady hand of skipper Girardi. And the “can’t miss” kids — Bird, Clint Frazier, Dustin Fowler, Miggy. And the ToeNight Show! It just didn’t get any better than 2017. That joyful season was one for the ages, but ended in ruin by high crimes and misdemeanors perpetrated by a scumbag Houston Astros club that still needs to be stripped of their title and made to pay.
Check out Brooklyn-born funny man Larry David on the Michael Kay Show (January 7, 2020), discussing the 2017 Yankees vs the 2020 team:
But the ‘superstars’ can’t stay on the field, injuries happen to the Yankees at rates no other clubs can match, and only one hitter is hitting above his baseball card numbers — and we seem content to let him walk.
And between upcoming arbitration-eligibilities, re-signing decisions and players hitting free agency starting in 2022 — the dreams Yankee fans had only four short years ago are fading before our eyes.
Ahh, what might have been.
But regardless, Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Stay safe and sane. And let’s go, Yankees!