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Yankees, DJ LeMahieu Nearing Agreement

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After a months-long staredown, the Yankees are closing in on a brand new contract with second baseman DJ LeMahieu, stories Jon Morosi of MLB.com (via Twitter). Phrases of the potential settlement aren’t but recognized, however the deal could possibly be accomplished as quickly as at the moment, per Morosi. LeMahieu is represented by Wasserman.

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LeMahieu, 32, has been the Yankees’ prime precedence all season. Common supervisor Brian Cashman acknowledged as a lot a few weeks again, however the membership has additionally seemingly been letting LeMahieu discover his choices on the open market moderately than emulating the Yankees of previous and easily writing him a clean examine up entrance. The curiosity between the 2 events was mutual, and it’s lengthy been obvious that the Yankees would have the chance to match any supply LeMahieu acquired elsewhere. The approaching reunion will certainly come at a loftier value than his preliminary deal, which proved to be a cut price; stories have lately advised that LeMahieu has been trying to prime Josh Donaldson’s four-year, $92MM contract — ideally on a five-year association.

The give attention to LeMahieu is greater than comprehensible for the Yankees, who regarded like an oddball match for the longtime Rockies second baseman two years in the past when he inked a two-year, $24MM contract to return to the Bronx. The Yankees already boasted a comparatively full infield, however accidents and LeMahieu’s rapid, career-best manufacturing shortly thrust him into common work in supervisor Aaron Boone’s lineup. The versatile LeMahieu logged motion not solely at second base but in addition on the infield corners, rising not solely because the Yankees’ most efficient hitter in that point however as a bona fide MVP candidate within the American League.

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Throughout his two seasons in New York, LeMahieu has turned in an excellent .336/.386/.536 batting line — together with a superhuman .364/.421/.590 line in 2020’s truncated season. That .364 exhibiting marked the second time in his profession that LeMahieu has led the league in common — he received a batting title with the 2016 Rockies as effectively — however he’d by no means put collectively any such energy till touchdown in New York. Yankee Stadium proved to be the right match for LeMahieu, who leads the Majors in opposite-field dwelling runs over the previous couple of seasons after totally benefiting from his new dwelling park’s quick porch in proper area.

That’s to not diminish LeMahieu’s manufacturing with the Yankees, after all. He stays one of many hardest gamers in all of baseball to strike out because of his superlative bat-to-ball expertise, and LeMahieu has upped his hard-hit charge and exit velocities since his days at Coors Area. LeMahieu’s 12.7 % strikeout charge is the seventh-lowest in all of baseball amongst certified hitters over the previous two seasons, and he has the eighth-lowest swinging-strike charge of any participant within the Majors in that point.

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A reunion with the Yankees implies that LeMahieu will stay the first second baseman, with Gleyber Torres reprising his position at shortstop. There’s been loads of query about Torres’ capacity to become a powerful and even common defender at shortstop after a pair of seasons punctuated by miscues, however the membership has publicly expressed confidence that Torres is as much as the problem.

LeMahieu and Torres, then, can be penciled in because the Yankees’ double-play tandem for the foreseeable future, with Gio Urshela and Luke Voit holding down the infield corners. That also leaves former Rookie of the 12 months runner-up Miguel Andujar and not using a clear path to on a regular basis at-bats, although he nonetheless has a minor league possibility remaining and may also be labored in as an oft-used bench piece seeing time at third, first and in left area.

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The match within the lineup was at all times apparent, however the match into the Yankees’ funds was one other query. The Yanks, after all, have deeper pockets than simply about any staff within the league, however after final yr’s franchise-record degree of spending — the Yankees’ $108MM prorated payroll was bigger than a number of groups’ full-season payroll would have been — proprietor Hal Steinbrenner has reportedly been intent on decreasing the staff’s payroll and dipping beneath the $210MM luxurious tax threshold.

The potential free-agent departures of J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Brett Gardner and Masahiro Tanaka assist to drive down that backside line, as did Tommy Kahnle’s non-tender, however it’s been obvious for months that the Yankees weren’t going to look to duplicate the aggressiveness that introduced Gerrit Cole to New York on an MLB-record deal for a pitcher. Even and not using a single addition, the Yankees have been projected simply shy of $181MM by way of luxury-tax obligations, per Roster Resource’s Jason Martinez, and including a possible $20MM+ wage for LeMahieu will eat up anyplace from two-thirds to three-quarters of the house that separates the Yankees and that aggressive stability tax threshold.

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Extra to return.

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