After back-to-back seasons in the conversation for American League Most Valuable Player, DJ LeMahieu wants to get paid.
It seems he also specifically wants to be paid by the Yankees and, unfortunately for LeMahieu, the team is skeptical to do so.
According to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports, LeMahieu and the Yankees are locked in a stalemate and the player is fed up with it, so he’s going to re-engage in talks with other teams who have previously shown interest in signing him, such as the Blue Jays, Dodgers, and Mets.
There was a report back in December that came out of New York in which it was suggested that the Blue Jays “desperately” wanted to sign LeMahieu, but that really seemed like his camp using Toronto as a bargaining chip against the Yankees.
Creating a bidding war between two teams, division rivals nonetheless, is a great way to drive up your asking price. I would imagine this is the same thing and LeMahieu’s end goal here is to get the Yankees to cave.
Reports indicate that LeMahieu wants $100 million over five years while the Yankees only want to go as high as $75 million over four years. Logic would indicate that the Blue Jays would then need to hit that five-year figure in order to pry him from New York.
Would it be worthwhile? I mean, probably not.
LeMahieu is a good player, but his home and away splits make it pretty clear that he’s benefitting from the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium. In 2020, LeMahieu posted an insane 1.265 OPS at home but produced a mediocre .759 OPS on the road. The splits in 2019 weren’t quite as exaggerated, a .977 OPS at home and a .818 OPS on the road, but, again, it indicates that LeMahieu’s bat might not be what it seems.