Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu is coming off a batting title-winning regular season that could see him earn some AL MVP votes, but the pending free agent said Thursday that he and the team have not yet discussed a contract extension, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com tweets. LeMahieu added that he and the Yankees decided to wait until their season ends on contract talks, and that will be tonight if the team loses Game 4 of the ALDS to the Rays.
Of course, as MLBTR’s Mark Polishuk explained back in March, the Yankees have never been gung-ho on handing out extensions. As such, this is hardly an indicator that they’re ready to move on from LeMahieu, a former Cub and Rockie who has been an incredible find for New York since it signed him to a two-year, $24MM before 2019. Dating back to then, LeMahieu has slashed .336/.386/.536 (146 wRC+) with 36 home runs in 871 plate appearances, all while seeing time at second, third and first.
While LeMahieu’s already 32, his bat and versatility would make him the best free agent available at all infield positions but shortstop, so there’s little doubt he’d cash in on the open market. A deal in the vicinity of the four-year, $92MM pact third baseman Josh Donaldson inked with the Twins last offseason doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility for LeMahieu, whom several other teams could be willing to spend big on if the Yankees don’t re-sign him.