Early on Friday morning, rumors began to swirl that the Yankees and DJ LeMahieu were, at long last, getting close to finalizing a new contract. Now, it seems like the dust is all but settled and that LeMahieu will be back in the Bronx for 2021 and several years to come.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the Yankees will be re-signing LeMahieu to a six-year, $90 million deal. The definite specifics have yet to be set in stone, as Ken Rosenthal had suggested that it would be “four to five years,” but more sources seem to be leaning toward Passan’s report.
The “six years” might be startling to some, but it could be lining up with Hal Steinbrenner’s self-imposed luxury tax avoidance plan, as a six-year deal would allow the Yankees to take just a $15 million hit on LeMahieu rather than $18 million or more. It’s kind of dumb, but hey, as the Yankees proved with the Alex Rodriguez contract, if a player is unproductive toward the end, they don’t have a problem releasing him. Maybe the lower AAV will inspire the Yankees to more seriously look at adding pitching help or another outfielder.
I have a hunch that LeMahieu is the type of player who will age well and not turn into an issue, though. The man can play anywhere in the infield and is simply a good contact hitter. The most important part of all this to remember is that the 2019-20 Yankees MVP is back.