7:30pm: General manager Brian Cashman also tells Ken Davidoff of the New York Post that he has yet to engage in extension talks, though he of course wouldn’t broadcast the fact if the two sides to sit down to talk dollars and years. “[O]bviously if we did start any negotiations with anyone at any time absent of free agency, we would always try and keep them private, to the degree that is ever possible,” said the GM.
Davidoff also spoke to manager Aaron Boone about LeMahieu’s fit with the club, and the skipper unsurprisingly sounded like someone who’d be on board with LeMahieu continuing to don pinstripes for the foreseeable future: “[T]here’s just something a little bit different that he brings to the room that I think guys are drawn to. Even though he’s not the most vocal guy, I think guys look up to him and enjoy him.”
As Davidoff points out, any new contract for LeMahieu wouldn’t impact the Yankees’ luxury line, so long as it is structured as a new deal beginning in the 2021 season.
9:20am: Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu says he hasn’t yet held any talks with the club about a new contract, as MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports on Twitter. He also reiterated his affinity for the organization after one golden campaign.
LeMahieu’s contract situation isn’t necessarily a hot topic in Yanks’ camp, but it is fair to wonder whether he’ll ultimately be approached about an extension. The free agent deal he signed last January covered two seasons, meaning DJLM is presently slated to return to the open market next winter.
The Yankees have already made out like bandits on this signing. LeMahieu racked up a .327/.375/.518 batting line with a career-high 26 home runs in 655 plate appearances last year, easily topping expectations. He placed fourth in the American League MVP vote. Suffice to say, LeMahieu earned the entirety of his contract and then some in the first year.
Whether LeMahieu can repeat anything approaching that output is an open question. He did have one other high-grade offensive campaign under his belt, 2016 with the Rockies, but has otherwise typically checked in with below-average overall numbers with the bat.
LeMahieu is already 31 years of age, so it’s not as if he’s an exceptionally youthful player. But his history of high-contact hitting presents a decent floor with the bat even if his power recedes. And LeMahieu is an excellent infield defender who can move around as needed.
So, will the Yanks ride out the deal and hope it keeps paying off? Or will they double down on their initial faith, which was proven wise the first time around? The team could go in either direction, but it’s certainly not difficult to imagine the Yankees deciding to pursue talks. If anything, it’s a bit of a surprise that they haven’t yet kicked off a conversation.