After a months-long staredown, the Yankees are closing in on a new contract with second baseman
LeMahieu, 32, has been the Yankees’ top priority all season. General manager Brian Cashman acknowledged as much a couple of weeks back, but the club has also seemingly been letting LeMahieu explore his options on the open market rather than emulating the Yankees of old and simply writing him a blank check up front. The interest between the two parties was mutual, and it’s long been apparent that the Yankees would have the opportunity to match any offer LeMahieu received elsewhere.
The focus on LeMahieu is more than understandable for the Yankees, who looked like an oddball fit for the longtime Rockies second baseman two years ago when he inked a two-year, $24MM contract to come to the Bronx. The Yankees already boasted a relatively full infield, but injuries and LeMahieu’s immediate, career-best production quickly thrust him into regular work in manager Aaron Boone’s lineup. The versatile LeMahieu logged action not only at second base but also at the infield corners, emerging not only as the Yankees’ most productive hitter in that time but as a bona fide MVP candidate in the American League.
During his two seasons in New York, LeMahieu has turned in an outstanding .336/.386/.536 batting line — including a superhuman .364/.421/.590 line in 2020’s truncated season. That .364 showing marked the second time in his career that LeMahieu has led the league in average — he won a batting title with the 2016 Rockies as well — but he’d never put together this type of power until landing in New York. Yankee Stadium proved to be the perfect fit for LeMahieu, who leads the Majors in opposite-field home runs over the past couple of seasons after fully taking advantage of his new home park’s short porch in right field.
More to come.