Friday, December 4, 2020

In body language, the Yankees seem to be blinking on LeMahieu

Lately, the Yankiverse has echoed with two wildly divergent rumors:

1. DJ LeMahieu wants to stay a Yankee, so both sides will soon kiss and sign on the dotted line. 

2. The Yanks will not win a bidding war for LeMahieu, so kiss him goodbye. 

I'm starting to believe No. 2. Why? Because in the last two days, a weirdly coordinated breeze full of whispers has connected the Death Barge to free agent outfielders Kyle Schwarber and Michael Brantley. 

Considering the glaring holes in their rotation, their bullpen and at SS, why would the suddenly frugal Yankees ponder either player, unless they seek to tamp down the rage across their fan base, if and when LeMahieu departs? 

And considering how much of their 2021 strategy hinges on LeMahieu's fate, if they really plan to keep him, why haven't they already made him an impossible offer to refuse?  

Yeah, I keep seeing No. 2.

Each day, another team - now it's the Dodgers - edges into the impending war of wallets over LeMahieu, who has every right to demand a tsunami of money for his two MVP-level seasons in NYC. At age 32, this is the last big payout in his life. LeMahieu might give the Yanks a discount. He won't give away the ranch in Wyoming.

And here's another rub: The Yankees do need a lefty-hitter. As it now stands, especially with Gary Sanchez apparently returning, the batting order tilts rightward like the tower of Pisa. If LeMahieu stays, it forces the trade(s) of Clint Frazier, Luke Voit and/or Miguel Andujar (probably a goner, anyway.)

If LeMahieu leaves - and we must steel ourselves for that - why not replace him with an equally beloved Yankee? Of course, I'm referring to Didi Gregorius, who will be 31 this year. Last season, Sir Didi hit .284 with 10 HRs for the Phillies. Bat him between Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, and his numbers will improve. More importantly, he'd shore up the defense, move Gleyber to 2B and spare us from a potentially devastating bad trade.  

LeMahieu's fate hangs over the Yankee winter. In comparison, Wednesday's decision to keep Sanchez was a trifle. (Note: Gary could still go. Last season, with empty stadiums, he was spared the booing. This year, marching back to the dugout after a whiff, he'll hear it like few Yankees we've ever known. I wonder about that...)

Once upon a time, in a Yankiverse not so far away, the Yankees let Robinson Cano jog off into the sunset, a move that turned out to be rather cagy. Nevertheless, they managed to blow it.  To offset the negative publicity of losing Joggy, they poked Boston in the eye and signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven year deal. This season, they'll pay him a $5 million buyout. Those who do not remember history are doomed to - how does that old chestnut go? - sign Kei Igawa? 

In the next few weeks, the great fear among Yankee fans should be that - after we lose LeMahieu - the Yankees will land a big name, merely to keep up pretenses. That sounds like Schwarber, and it's legitimately scary. 


Unknown said...

Agree fully. DJLM will want 4 or 5 years. And he turns 33 this upcoming season. I wouldn’t go above 3 years $60-$75M on him. Max. If he won’t bite at that, then bring Didi back for 3 years, $30-$45M. More cost effective and adds a LH presence to a righty lineup.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

Why oh why can't these brilliant and succinct daily IIH posts be brought to the attention of Hal and Brian?

JimmyEatsHotDogs said...

I still think Sanchez is moved this winter He needs a change of scenery and so do Yankee fans. Giving him a contract at least they get something back if he included in a trade.
Hicks, Sanchez and Andujar would be a package to entice some teams. Just saying!

Alphonso said...

It doesn't matter, I tell You !

None of these permutations mean a thing.

Keep DJ/Lose DJ.

Trade for a fat Cub or a skinny Didi.

We have Giancarlo for seven more years.

That is all you' need to know.

We are in wild card country forever.

BaileyHowell said...

Unfortunately, spot on.

TheWinWarblist said...


Oasisdave said...

Hit the nail on the head.

ranger_lp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ranger_lp said...

So the Yanks are looking at Michael Brantley:

I guess the analytics are saying we're not left handed enough. Who's been saying that the past few years? You know anyone here who has been saying that?

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