Given that LeMahieu posted and MVP-type season in 2020, it’s no surprise that he’ll head to the open market seeking a multi-year deal. The two-time batting champ has now won a batting title in each league, and he’s primed to cash in for more than the two-years, $24MM that he made last time he was a free agent. The Yankees certainly got their money’s worth over the past two seasons, as LeMahieu slashed .336/.386/.536 with 36 home runs over 871 plate appearances.
Despite the expected for a depressed free agent market, LeMahieu figures to be one of the rare players who will be able to transcend the coronavirus-driven downturn. The 32-year-old not only brings a top-of-the-line bat, but he’s a versatile defensive player who would fit on most any roster. That he happens to get rave reviews for his character and clubhouse presence is only icing on the cake.
As for the rest of this year’s qualifying offer crop, MLB Insider Jon Heyman suggested on his Big Time Baseball podcast that Kevin Gausman is the only relative sure thing to accept his offer from the Giants. Heyman couldn’t quite decide on Marcus Stroman, though he at least thinks there’s a possibility that Stroman would accept. That seems unlikely, given his position as perhaps the top starting pitcher on the market, but a decision will be made by tomorrow evening.