Yeah, I get it. The tsunami of data available across baseball has allowed clubs to save millions upon millions of dollars by demonstrating that the expected production from a 32-year-old free agent could be only marginally different from a player on a fraction of the salary.
From a short-term, profit-maximising viewpoint, there is no good sense to invest in expensive 30-somethings, but in a game of small margins and only one World Series champion each year, why are 30 clubs not ringing DJ LeMahieu’s agent non-stop?
The guy is a stud.
Let’s not kid ourselves, since he joined New York, LeMahieu has been their best player. Regardless of how much you like/dislike the Yankees, anyone who is their best player, is undoubtedly one of the best players in the game.
Their predictions suggest the fifth-largest contract of the offseason will be awarded to LeMahieu … Four years, $68 million.
My question is, why not $100 million?
He is the best first baseman available in free agency, and the best second baseman, and guess what, yep, he’s the best third baseman as well.
There is no team that would not be dramatically improved by the addition of such an elite player, and that’s without adding the huge benefit you get from his positional flexibility.
I read that Steve Cohen, Mets new owner, has amassed a fortune of $14,000,000,000. And he expects to win the World Series within five years. Tying LeMahieu up for $100 million would make his statement start to look serious.
There is so much money in the game, yet one of the best players averaged $2.5 million per year in his seven years in Colorado. We know players’ wages are suppressed during their 20s, but they should get paid.
But I digress. This isn’t an article of player vs. owner, this is more of “Why is DJ so undervalued?”
It’s really difficult to know what more he could have done since joining the Yankees …
- Batting average: 1st in MLB
- wRC+: 10th
- OBP: 11th
- SLG: 19th
And he’s as hard as nails. He’s in the Top 20 of games-played since 2014.
And he is an outstanding defensive player, although given his multi-position versatility, I’m struggling to find data which backs up my own eyes.
The MLB Trade Rumors article suggests the Blue Jays will land LeMahieu, but I want the bigger boys to get involved. I hope the Dodgers scare the Mets into making a serious offer, and then I hope that forces the Yankees to pony up and pay LeMahieu $100 million to keep him in pinstripes.
(Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)