The deadline to extend qualifying offers to impending free agents passed on Sunday evening at 5 pm EST. The Yankees opted to extend the one-year, $18.9 million contract offer to infielder DJ LeMahieu.
LeMahieu, 32, stands out as the most impressive free-agent infielder on the market. The infielder hit .364/.421/.590 with 10 home runs en route to winning the American League batting title. If he signs with a new team, the Bombers will receive compensation in the form of a draft pick.
This doesn’t, of course, preclude the possibility of LeMahieu re-upping with the Yankees. The extension of the offer is a formality, and one he likely won’t accept. So, instead, the team figures to pursue The Machine on another multi-year deal.
Other free agents on the Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton, didn’t receive the qualifying offer. They have no draft-pick attachments, and can sign freely with another team, leaving the Bombers empty-handed. Paxton doesn’t come as a surprise, but I figured Tanaka might receive one. He stood out as a strong candidate to actually accept the deal.
We’ll have more news on LeMahieu and the other free agents as soon as it becomes available.