Despite DJ LeMahieu’s impressive 2019 performance, the New York Yankees haven’t discussed a contract extension with him just yet.
While the New York Yankees are coming off one of their busiest offseasons in recent years, they could lose one of their best infielders next winter.
Heading into this season, DJ LeMahieu is entering the final year of the two-year $24 million deal that he signed prior to the 2019 campaign.
According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, the Yankees didn’t approach LeMahieu about a possible contract extension throughout the entire offseason. Although, Hoch also notes that the 31-year-old infielder really enjoys playing in New York.
DJ LeMahieu said that there have been no talks yet with the #Yankees regarding a contract extension, but he loves playing in New York.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) February 19, 2020
For LeMahieu, this isn’t the first time that he’s expressed his preference to stay in the Bronx. Last September, the veteran infielder told Randy Miller of NJ.com that he would “absolutely” consider re-signing with the Yankees.
During his first season in pinstripes, the right-handed batter hit a career-high 26 home runs, 102 RBI, .191 ISO, .349 BABIP, .375 wOBA, 136 wRC+, a 5.4 fWAR rating along with a slashing line of .327/.375/.518 /.893 over his 655 plate appearances.
Based on his outstanding production from last season, it’s a little puzzling that there wasn’t at least some contract discussions between LeMahieu and the Yankees this winter.
With players like Cesar Hernandez, Jonathan Schoop, Tommy La Stella and Jed Lowrie set to enter the free-agent market next offseason, the Yankees’ second baseman will likely be the best quality infielder available.
So, general manager Brian Cashman and his staff will almost certainly attempt to extend LeMahieu at some point this season. Since the three-time Gold Glove award winner has already stated multiple times that he wants to stay, there’s no reason for concern right now.
If LeMahieu replicates his success during this season, he’ll likely demand a significant raise from his current salary of $12 million next offseason. Based on the limited amount of talent that’ll be available next winter, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the three-time All-Star earn $20 million per season in 2021.
As a result, there could be a bidding war for the veteran infielder next offseason. However, no player is ever out of reach for the Yankees, as they remain one of the wealthiest teams throughout the entire major leagues.
Meaning, if the Yankees want to re-sign LeMahieu bad enough, there won’t be much stopping them from outbidding every other team for his services.