Another day, another the Blue Jays are in on ______ rumour.
Over the past few weeks, the talk around the Blue Jays has generally been about George Springer, Francisco Lindor, and J.T. Realmuto as possibilities for the team’s much-anticipated big off-season splash. On Friday, DJ LeMahieu’s name was thrown back in the mix.
According to New York Yankees announcer Michael Kay (the guy who says ‘see ya!’ when the team hits a homer), the Blue Jays are very interested in the 2020 batting champ…
“I know for a fact from people I know in Toronto that the Blue Jays desperately want him,” Kay said Friday on his ESPN radio show. “And they’ve got a lot of infielders, too. They desperately want him. Would (LeMahieu) want to go to Toronto? That’s the question.”
This report out of New York comes at a time in which the Yankees and LeMahieu are engaged in a bit of a stalemate. Both sides apparently want to reach terms on a new deal but LeMahieu wants $100 million over five years while the team only wants to go as high as $75 million over four years.
Now, this might just be LeMahieu’s agent building a bidding war to help gain leverage for his client. We have heard that the Blue Jays are interested in LeMahieu, but he doesn’t tend to come up as often as names like Springer or Lindor. There’s a chance Toronto’s “interest” has been exaggerated to push the Yankees into dishing out a bigger deal.
From a Blue Jays’ perspective, signing LeMahieu to a $100 million deal would be insane. He’s certainly a good player who would be a nice fit on the team, adding a very good bat with positional versatility, but LeMahieu’s amazing production as a Yankee seems to be the result of a friendly home environment.
In 2020, LeMahieu posted an insane 1.265 OPS at Yankee Stadium but produced a ho-hum .759 OPS on the road. The splits in 2019 weren’t quite as exaggerated, a .977 OPS at Yankee Stadium and a .818 OPS on the road, but, again, it indicates that LeMahieu’s bat might not be what it seems.
A three-year deal worth, like, $60 million? Yeah, absolutely, that would be a great addition for the Blue Jays. But going over $100 million and making LeMahieu one of your franchise players seems like a plan that could very easily go sideways.