As expected, DJ LeMahieu plans on rejecting the $18.9MM qualifying offer and testing the open market, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter). The deadline to make a decision is tomorrow at 5 ET.
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.
Stroman is the top starting pitcher on the market? I think that is Trevor Bauer
FredMcGriff for the HOF
I’m thinking DJ should’ve took the money and ran all the way to the bank.
Only in Stromam’s MIND ….
Hasn’t pitched September 2019 &
NOT VERY WELL
I’m not even sure if he’s the second best, and it’s a weak SP market
Was thinking the same thing. What a clown comment. Kinda hurts credibility of author…or is this Stroman’s pseudonym?
Is there a reason players who will obviously decline the qo wait so long to do so?
Maybe to give their clubs time to reconsider an extension?
Because there is no reason to not wait. If you wake up one morning, and your elbow hurts, you get a chance to decide how meaningful that is. It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes players twist ankles walking down the stairs, etc.
If you were offered 19 million dollars, but also knew there was a chance at you getting 36 million dollars, and another chance at you getting only 8 million dollars, that’s not an easy decision, nor one you should rush.
There’s a lot of agony that likely goes into a decision of this magnitude. Because you’d hate to accept it and then find out that someone would have offered you a more secure deal.
So I’d imagine there’s a lot of thinking, praying (if the players do that), and a lot of phone calls trying to gauge interest.
I’d imagine for some players, like Trevor Bauer, it’s an easy call. For guys like Gausman, not so much.
You’re allowed to talk to other teams during the 10 day QO period. You can use it as leverage / a starting point for negotiations with other teams.
Their agents are reaching out to teams and seeing what the market is. It just gives them more information before they lock into a decision
Rave reviews. Nice.
Stroman is the top free agent pitcher? MLBTR lists Bauer as the best free agent overall.
Wait, let me write it like a MLBTR writer…
Stroman the is free agent top pitcher?
This article could use a proof reader for sure.
“Proofreader” is one word.
Sorry … couldn’t help myself. : )
You’re right, of course. It’s rife with errors.
Chief Two Hands
Oh c’mon, give the “writer” the benefit of the doubt…maybe he was drunk.
To be fair, he hasn’t shown us his ring yet. Maybe he was really good at writing two decades ago.
I usually don’t make these types of comments but woof… this article is brutal . Butchered pretty badly
The writing has been a little sloppy lately but I’m sure they’ll clean it up. Still one of my favorite sites.
Someone tell that to Peter O’Brien.
Neither stroman or Bauer are number one pitchers… I know Bauer had great 2020, but he had what 11 starts? His career he has a 3.90 era . I’m not so sure if he had a full 35 start season his numbers would have been as good. Remember you are only as good as the back of your baseball card.
He’s been inconsistent throughout his career. He’s never had a really bad season though and his 2020 and 2018 numbers offer enough upside for him to cash in huge. Time will tell if he is the ace he’s shown this year or a really good middle of the rotation arm. Either way he is a productive pitcher that any team would like to have and could very well be a number 1 starter If he’s figured out something analytically to make him consistent
Buyer beware with Bauer. Someone might make a huge mistake for a number 2 / 3 pitcher.
If it is for only 1 year the risk reward is worth it. So it definitely isn’t buyer beware.
Yes, he does really well when he has to play for his next contract.
Didn’t he say he wants to go year to year anyway? Gambler’s move but could be lucrative if he stays healthy and performs well.
Chief Two Hands
I think the latest report said he backed off on the one-year commitment approach a bit.
Yanks need DJ desperately.. he’s contact he’s defense.. Paul O’Neill type. I would rather him at first gleyber at second and either Simmons or Gregorious at short. Sure up the defense.. and get Brantley to play left and dh with Stanton.. he’s power lefty bat is made for the Bronx.
Chief Two Hands
Paul O’Neill type? Do you think he could hit two home runs for a little boy in the hospital? Keep in mind that an inside the park home run which is scored a triple due to an error doesn’t count….
Im with you. Simmons for a year until the other SS are available next year. They would also have to trade Voit with your scenario.
Tough to read article for sure. Pandemic stress on staffing IMO. Great site and a go to every day for lots of us. Keep up the overall great work guys.
DJ gets paid and so does Bauer. Will miss DJ if he leaves the NYY, but I think they have a top figure in mind that won’t be his highest offer. I wonder if he’ll consider a home town discount? Winning with the Yankees and getting embedded in their organization might be a ‘big picture’ approach he will consider. This is his last definite contract so post playing career implications mi might count for something
Stroman talked crap before season then quit !
Hoping he and his underwhelming stuff opts out !
The Red Sox will sign DJ to a huge contract and he will be injured the whole time. Ellsbury pay back.
I’d give this about a 4% chance of happening. The RS still have more holes than they have money. And they will wait on Downs, who could be up as soon as July.
That’s would be good thing if he leaves the yankees
Baseball Reference only has LeMahieu winning a batting title the last two years with the Yankees, Not one in each league. He had several gold gloves in the NL but no batting titles.
Yankees will offer 4/70 take it or leave it.
2016 with a .348 avg
DJ had ONE year in Colorado where his OPS+ was above 100. In Colorado. One year out of 7 years. Then all of sudden he goes to the NY and has an OPS+ of 145 over two years.
Wait for the injuries. That’s next. It’s a predictable pattern. You see it over and over with that franchise. Marginal player somewhere else. An All Star with the yankees. Then the endless injuries. Over and over.
New York clearly has a unique organizational approach to hitting, and it works for a lot of guys. Luke Voit’s career path is much, much different because he’s in New York, as opposed to St. Louis.
Truth is, some guys just flourish in certain environments. The hitting approach in New York must have worked for LeMahieu, while it wouldn’t work for other players.
Good for LeMahieu for striking gold.
Great comment….maybe those know it alls like JDGoat might listen and learn!
Did… did I offend you?
I know, he seems to fit in with the rest of this FA class where a multi year deal could easily blow up in his teams face. The one good thing about Lemahieu is that his glove should still have many good years left in it and that alone will provide a lot of value.
But there is a very real chance that he turns back into a pumpkin at the plate once he leaves that little league stadium. I’m pretty sure I saw that he has the shortest average homerun distance over the past two years so it’s fairly obvious Yankee Stadium had at least a bit to do with his breakout.
Who hurt you?
Get him Red Sox…
DJLM is the best player in the Yankee lineup, with the only bat that can’t be shifted on and a gold glove fielder at multiple positions, Letting him get away is inconceivable, The Yankees haven’t been able to hit when needed in the playoffs the past few years, so I expect DJLM back on a 4-year, $90 million deal.
And then they need a pitcher to pair up with Cole at the top of the rotation. The back end of the rotation is good enough with Montgomery, Garcia, King, Loaisiga, and Schmidt, at least until German is ready to pitch and Severino comes back from TJS.
So, DJLM is Priority #1 and a top-of-the-rotation starter is Priority #1a.
DJL is definitely one of those guys you hope keeps it up, but you gotta wonder if we just watched him peak and the inevitable drop off is coming…. i still hope they give him 3 years/$76M or so…. make it 5 years/$100M overall with the Yankees.
I understand if they move on. His age and his history is quite risky. Yes, he might maintain, but he could become an IL mainstay going forward… and they’ve already got so many of those guys in Judge and others.
Hard to say. I think you have to go by history as you just don’t know. I would take the chance on resigning him as he has proven durable over his career. Question is does that take them out of going for Lindor? Or does trading for Lindor take them out of resigning DJ? I know they are trying to stay under the $210mm. Supposedly the projected payroll right now with arbitration figures estimates them at around $170-$175mm which only leaves $35-$40mm approx. this is without adding any pitching of course.
Why not come home to Detroit?. Knew the kid high school