News that the Yankees had agreed to a two-year $24 million contract with DJ LeMahieu came out of nowhere. The team hadn’t even been linked to the infielder through rumors, and then all of a sudden, he was a Yankee.
Since fans waited with bated breath for an announcement that the Yankees had signed coveted free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, it wasn’t surprising that most were bitterly disappointed with the LeMahieu deal. The most recommended comments on Pinstripe Alley’s breaking news story on the signing were overwhelmingly negative:
Some fans were down on LeMahieu as a player, while others were clearly dismayed that the Yankees chose to exceed the luxury tax line to sign him, rather than a superstar like Machado or Harper. It is clear that there is a lot of pent-up frustration surrounding the Yankees’ controversial austerity measures, their tepid approach to this winter’s top free agents, and bewilderment that the front office is not doing more to improve the roster in order to overtake the defending champion Red Sox.
The media, on the other hand, took a more even-keeled approach to the LeMahieu deal. Many were quick to point out what the infielder has accomplished and what he might bring to the Yankees in 2019:
DJ LeMahieu was a really smart pickup for the Yankees. He’s a quality contact hitter, outstanding fielder, and ridiculously versatile.— Ryan Ruocco (@RyanRuocco) January 12, 2019
Another reason why the Yankees like LeMahieu: He consistently puts the ball in play. Has accumulated 100 strikeouts in a season once in his career. Yankees have some really big K hitters in their lineup, so LeMahieu gives them a different look.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 11, 2019
The Yankees plan to use D.J. LeMahieu all around the infield (1B, 2B and 3B), per source. They view him as a versatile, everyday player who gives them options. If Troy Tulowitzki needs a day or gets hurt, they can move Gleyber Torres to SS and plug LeMahieu in at 2B.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 11, 2019
Still, references to Machado were inescapable. Understandable, considering fans clearly care less about the LeMahieu signing than they do about how the event may potentially impact efforts to put Machado in pinstripes:
It would be foolish to ever count out the New York Yankees on a player of Manny Machado's caliber. But if they are indeed planning on bringing Machado into the fold, they're going to need to move an infielder, because LeMahieu, Gregorius, Torres, Tulowitzki and Andujar is a glut.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 11, 2019
Yankees view DJ LeMahieu as a Ben Zobrist-type of athlete--can move around to different spots,+ defender, helps address the manager's daily lineup challenges. They love Manny Machado as a player, but idea of another huge contract a concern, with Stanton, and Judge payday looming.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 11, 2019
I don't think the Yankees will stand up and publicly say they're out on Machado, but they're making moves that are indicating that is the case. There's been scant contact between the sides since Machado met with them.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) January 11, 2019
What the hell are the Yankees doing? A quick rant ... https://t.co/y7l3pqgybq— Steve Politi (@StevePoliti) January 12, 2019
Unfortunately, not all fans remain optimistic about Machado calling the Bronx home in 2019:
“So Mr. Cashman, when you say ‘Death Star’, do you mean Machado? Harper? 1939 Yankees??”— Jake Story (@TalkinJake) January 11, 2019
“Haha no guys, think bigger.
2015 Rockies. 68-94. Tulo and LeMahieu up the middle.”
This offseason they have allocated nearly $30 million on a 5th outfielder, a 39 year old 5th starter with bad knees, and a utility player. But apparently signing a 26 year old Harper or Machado would be a bad investment.— Disgruntled Yankee Fan (@vgiglotti) January 12, 2019
This could go down as the worst Yankees offseason ever...— Wes (@wesdog984) January 11, 2019
Boston is laughing there asses off!! Another 2019 championship for them. Yanks are finished— Velma Zamora (@VelmaZamora18) January 11, 2019
Stay tuned, friends. I’m not going to give up hope on Harper and Machado donning the pinstripes this season unless and until they sign elsewhere.