The Yankees are set to re-sign DJ LeMahieu. On what is expected to be a high-value, multi-year deal, Jon Morosi has reported an announcement could come on Friday.
LeMahieu’s free agency had been relatively quiet. Early expectations he would re-up in New York were doubted when rumors surfaced of the Dodgers’ interest.
Rumors never became more than that. LeMahieu is heading back to The Big Apple after two MVP contending seasons. The Mets’ trade for Francisco Lindor took a key alternative off the table – the Yankees had a hole to fill on the infield and LeMahieu was always the obvious solution.
LeMahieu’s versatility is invaluable to a Yankee infield which has struggled defensively at times. They could yet bring in a glove-first shortstop like Andrelton Simmons. This doesn’t lock the Yankees into a set infield layout for years to come – LeMahieu can play above-average defense at second and third and fill in at first when required.
He’s also flourished as a hitter at Yankee Stadium. Already an impressive contact hitter with the Rockies, LeMahieu has benefited from the closer fences and started driving the ball more. His 7.5% barrel rate in 2019 was a career high. In the same season, the All-Star infielder ranked in the top 6% in hard hit rate.
Yankees first major offseason move
Re-signing LeMahieu would be the first major offseason move for the Yankees. They have watched the Mets acquire Lindor and Carlos Carrasco and the Chicago White Sox have strengthened. There’s been limited news on James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka. Rumors of the Yankees and Trevor Bauer have quietened.
There’s still a lot to do. Brian Cashman needs to sign multiple pitchers before the season starts. Guaranteeing LeMahieu is donning pinstripes in 2021 is huge, though. It’s a move they needed to make after seeing the White Sox add Lance Lynn and Liam Hendriks. It’s the sort of investment this Yankee roster required to recapture the status of American League favorites.