There’s been one constant with the New York Yankees the past two seasons – and I’m not talking about the injuries – it’s been David John LeMahieu’s MVP-caliber play.
New York Yankees second basemen, DJ LeMahieu won the 2020 American League batting title after finishing the 60-game season hitting .364, his best of his career and best in the MLB. LeMahieu became the first player in MLB history in the modern era to win the batting title in both the American League and National League.
The 32-year-old won the NL batting title back in 2016 with a .348 batting average, while he was with the Colorado Rockies.
The Machine followed up his 2019 season, where he finished fourth in MVP voting, with another MVP-caliber season after a remarkable 2020 campaign.
In this COVID-19 60-game season, the 6’4″ righty played in 50 games and had 10 home runs and 27 RBIs with a .364 (career-high)/.421 (career-high)/.590 (career-high) slash line. LeMahieu also had a remarkable 1.011 OPS, which was also a career-high and ranked fourth-best in Major League Baseball.
LeMahieu signed a two-year deal worth $24 million before the 2019 season and has immensely outperformed his contract. It’s safe to say The Machine is SEVERELY underpaid.
That being said, the New York Yankees MUST resign LeMahieu at all costs since he will become an unrestricted free agent this winter. That must be offseason priority No. 1.
The California native has even come out and expressed his desire to stay in New York with the Bronx Bombers:
LeMahieu is arguably the best pure hitter the New York Yankees have had in a very long time. If they let him sign elsewhere, that would be one of the biggest mistakes in GM Brain Cashman’s career.
My only concern is that Giancarlo Stanton‘s (remaining) seven-year, $218 million contract, and Gerrit Cole‘s nine-year, $324 million contract will prevent the Yanks from resigning LeMahieu. He will most likely command a multi-year deal starting at the $100 million mark.
The Bombers will also have to make a decision on Gary Sanchez this offseason since Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto is set to hit free agency and he’s arguably the best catcher in the game.
On top of all that, Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton are both unrestricted free agents this offseason. I’d resign Tanaka and let Paxton walk, nonetheless, that’s more money that will have to go to someone else other than LeMahieu.
One of LeMahieu’s best traits is his health. The Machine doesn’t get injured (compared to his teammates – Judge, Stanton, Paxton, for example.) He’s played in 195 out of 222 games in his two years with the Yankees and has been a huge part of their offense while other missed time.
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He’s one of the most durable players on the Yanks, not only is he durable (and a fantastic hitter and fielder), he also plays multiple positions. The Machine has played numerous games at second base, first base, and third base in his pinstripe career.
You can’t replace someone with LeMahieu’s talent, Cashman needs to walk into LeMahieu’s contract negotiations with a blank check and give him what he wants. He CANNOT let LeMahieu be in any other uniform for the remainder of his career.
With the way, this New York Yankees team is constructed (home run or strikeout), it’s nice to have the traditional hitter who hits over .300 with 15-20 home run pop. Don’t forget, LeMahieu hit .327 with 26 home runs and 102 RBI in 2019 with just 90 strikeouts.
Resign LeMahieu. That is all.