Sunday, December 20, 2020

The Heart or the Brain: Would the Yankees actually be better off without signing LeMahiue?

In today's Murdoch Mildew, Joel Sherman - the paragon of paragraphs and begotten king of the Gammonites - outlines the arguments pro-and- con, nip-and-tuck, up-and-down, and higgety-piggety, for spending the Yankee war chest on D.J. LeMahieu. 

You don't need binoculars to read between the lines: 

That no matter how  great LeMahieu is, the Death Barge might be better off spending its money elsewhere. 

Sherman offers a whispery, backdoor analysis, one we've pondered since the rotation exploded in November, with James Paxton, J.A. Happ and Masahiro Tanaka filing for freedom. For weeks, the tabloids have taken the easy route, simplistically crusading for the Yankees to re-sign their best player. Even today, Sherman doesn't come out and say otherwise. But questions trickle out.

... [I]f LeMahieu returns, he would play second. That means sticking with Gleyber Torres at short and Luke Voit at first. Still, even an in-shape Torres is going to be, at best, an ordinary shortstop. The Yankees are looking at ordinary or worse up the middle with Torres, Gary Sanchez at catcher and Aaron Hicks in center.

Then there is the batting order.

They also are pretty much committing again to a lineup oversaturated with righty hitters, with only the switch-hitting Hicks currently projected to play regularly and hit from the left side... The concern is about making the picture too easy for teams with good righty pitching.

We've discussed this all winter. Interesting that, with the holidays approaching - knowing that some players like to wrap things up by then - Sherman puts this into play. No conspiracy theories, but for months, I've believed Brian Cashman is merely paying lip service to LeMahieu, talking up the need to keep him, without scribbling the right numbers onto the napkin. 

If the Yankees absolutely wanted LeMahieu - above all else - they'd have signed him by now. In fact, they're clutching their fanny pack. This could backfire: If the Mets, Redsocks or Blue Jays jump in, they'll have to respond. 

The Yankees have vowed not to make a move until LeMahiue makes up his mind. It's a nice way to pay homage, without actually paying the player. At some point, the dominoes will start dropping. Then, watch out.


HoraceClarke66 said...

Doug K., what you're proposing is stocking up enough dependable players with many skills so that the Yankees would likely be a serious contender despite the almost inevitable injuries that will afflict the team.

That's insane!

Obviously, you haven't thought through everything that could go wrong. Why, what if, somehow, NO ONE gets injured??? Then the Yankees would have an extra player they could bring in for key situations, or to give someone a rest. We can't have that!

Or...maybe they could trade him for a more needed player. Maybe even a pitcher. What would happen then???

No, what's most important is to save the money. Because you'll really need it to afford all those young starting pitchers whose chief asset is that they're cheap.

Really, we need to stick to priorities. Get rid of your best and most versatile players, in the hope that maybe you'll be able to acquire "role players" who aren't as good.

Isn't that the philosophy they used to build all the great Yankees teams?

TheWinWarblist said...

Hoss, your resolute demeanor (or dementia? That's what auto text suggested.) through these trying circumstances is laudable.

Lauds to you Hoss, I doff my Lauds to you.

Anonymous said...

Hey! My original comment got removed. I suspect that it was art of the purge of "inappropriate" ones. I'm only posting it again so Hoss' comments make sense.

Another fine question...

What I don't understand is the framing. Not by Duque but by the Gammonites.

When DJ was originally signed he was going to be this super-sub jack of all trades ballplayer who was going to play all over the diamond like what's his face from Tampa was a few years ago.

For some reason everyone forgets this even though it worked out extremely well.

Our infield in 2019 was


plus DJ

and in 2020 it was


Plus Glaring Lack.

So what I fail to understand is why they don't sign a solid Shortstop? For example, DD again, or the Korean guy.

Even a defense first stop gap would work because next year's Free Agency is chock full of really good shortstops and the Yankees will be able to outbi... sigh.

As I was saying, if they add a shortstop they can move Gleyber back to second and return DJ to his super utility man role. Backing up Luke at first, Gio at third, and Gleyber at second.

Defense issue solved. Offense issue solved.

The only problem with this comes in a couple of years when DJ can't cover all those positions but, as we've all learned this year, play for today. Tomorrow we may be watching from an ICU.

Besides DJ can always DH because he's the kind of player who can wake up at 3AM and lace a single. He would be ideal and it's not like we have anyone else who needs to g... sigh.

The bottom line is that it is being painted as, signing DJ means Gleyber at short and it's not true.

What's really happening as El Duque infers, is we are being set up for the inevitable, "Well we tried. But we're better for not signing him."

So, to answer the question "Would signing DJ weaken the team?"

If you frame it their way...

Absolutely! Because signing a Gold Glove guy who plays three positions and hits .364 is a recipe for disaster! Bad shortstop! The Luxury Tax!!!!!!!" Now we will have no money for pitching!!!!!!

If you frame it properly...

Pony up you cheap fucks!

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Thanks for putting me in context, Doug, and thereby (minimally) reducing the chances that I will be committed soon.

I wonder if anyone has ever rid themselves of the batting champ AND the home run king before the next season. I know that one has been traded for the other—Rocky Colavito for Harvey Kuenn—but I doubt that shipping out both has ever been done.

Well, the Yankees were always trendsetters!

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