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Friday, January 11, 2019

Yankees add infielder DJ LeMahieu | MLB.com

A little protection/preparation for Didi Gregorius’ pending free agency?

New York agreed to a two-year, $24 million contract with free-agent second baseman DJ LeMahieu on Friday afternoon, a source confirmed to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. The agreement is pending a physical, and the club has not confirmed.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2019 at 03:10 PM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: d.j. lemahieu, yankees

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   1. rconn23 Posted: January 11, 2019 at 03:17 PM (#5804765)
"A little protection/preparation for Didi Gregorius’ pending free agency?"

Or more likely, an excuse not to spend money and sign Manny Machado. I guess LeMahieu may be useful when Tulo inevitably tears both quads in spring training. Anyway, congrats to the Luxury Tax Champs and potential WC game contender in 2019. If not for the Paxton signing, just a brutal offseason for the Yankees.
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 11, 2019 at 03:50 PM (#5804779)
Infield getting a little crowded if everyone stays healthy. Reports suggest that the Yankees may use LeMahieu at 2nd, 3rd & even some at 1st, but he wouldn't seem to be the preferred option at any of those positions. This signing may signal that Machado is unlikely to land in the Bronx, but the Yankees only owe Tulowitzki the MLB minimum, so there are options if Machado is available at the right price. Trades are also possible.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2019 at 03:58 PM (#5804783)
Or more likely, an excuse not to spend money and sign Manny Machado. I guess LeMahieu may be useful when Tulo inevitably tears both quads in spring training. Anyway, congrats to the Luxury Tax Champs and potential WC game contender in 2019. If not for the Paxton signing, just a brutal offseason for the Yankees.

Happ signing was good too.

But $40M for LeMahieu, Britton, Sabathia, and Gardner, and not on Machado or Harper is definitely brutal.
   4. rconn23 Posted: January 11, 2019 at 04:19 PM (#5804791)
"Happ signing was good too."

Yeah, Happ was solid. Maybe it's Ottavino now for the pen and that's it? Who knows.

And EDIT: I meant Paxton trade, not signing.
   5. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: January 11, 2019 at 04:52 PM (#5804795)
$24M for DJ to be a utility player seems like a lot.

That money could go to Machado.
   6. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 11, 2019 at 05:37 PM (#5804817)
It's interesting the degree to which Yankees fans' attitudes surrounding this kind of thing have changed in the last 10-15. This thread is a long way from "he'll look good in pinstripes".

To be clear, if those for acquisitions prevent the Yankees from signing Machado to a big deal, they've ###### up big time. It's just interesting to watch how a fanbase's psychology changes over time.
   7. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 11, 2019 at 05:38 PM (#5804819)
Also, on the Machado situation in general, it certainly isn't playing out like I expected. The White Sox? I mean, if the rumors that he doesn't care for Philadelphia are true, and he refuses to transition to 3B for the Dodgers, then that's who is left, if the Yankees are intent on throwing money at mediocrities instead.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2019 at 05:47 PM (#5804820)
It's interesting the degree to which Yankees fans' attitudes surrounding this kind of thing have changed in the last 10-15. This thread is a long way from "he'll look good in pinstripes".

To be clear, if those for acquisitions prevent the Yankees from signing Machado to a big deal, they've ###### up big time. It's just interesting to watch how a fanbase's psychology changes over time.


The ownership has changed. They seem content to play 2nd fiddle to Boston, and take more profits. There's no excuse for the Yankees being outspent by $50M.

If they're content to play for the WC game, I'm content to not give them any of my money or attention until they win that game.
   9. puck Posted: January 11, 2019 at 07:08 PM (#5804842)
Reports suggest that the Yankees may use LeMahieu at 2nd, 3rd & even some at 1st, but he wouldn't seem to be the preferred option at any of those positions.


How long is Gregorius out? I thought Torres was sliding over to short while he's out, leaving 2nd open. If that's the case, I'd prefer Lemahieu to what Tulo likely has left. Lemahieu is a top notch second baseman.
   10. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 11, 2019 at 07:49 PM (#5804849)
How long is Gregorius out? I thought Torres was sliding over to short while he's out, leaving 2nd open. If that's the case, I'd prefer Lemahieu to what Tulo likely has left. Lemahieu is a top notch second baseman.

The Yankees said that Tulowitzki will be at SS, leaving Torres at 2nd, although I suspect Plan B is to slide Torres to SS if Tulowitzki doesn't look up to the job or succumbs to injury.
   11. Blastin Posted: January 11, 2019 at 08:27 PM (#5804855)
They are being cheap and dumb. But Boston isn't winning 108 again. So they may come out ahead just by chance and have their dumb decisions validated. Boo

But if Tulo breaks in half on March 1st, this probably improves the team. Just not as much as singing the actual available stars...
   12. karlmagnus Posted: January 11, 2019 at 08:31 PM (#5804856)
More or less whatever happens, Boston looks good for fairly close to 108 in 2019, then faces agonizing questions and probably a sharp drop-off in 2020. If I'm the Yankees, and don't much like Machado, I stay cheap this year, then give a monstrous Evil Empire cackle and throw money at whatever's around in 2019-20.
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: January 11, 2019 at 08:45 PM (#5804857)
Rockies splits sometimes are overrated

and sometimes....
DJ career .330 AVG at home, .264 on road.

.387/.438/.885 for tOPS+ of 121, vs .311/.362/.673 for tOPS+ of 78

   14. bbmck Posted: January 11, 2019 at 08:49 PM (#5804858)
1969 Orioles are the most recent 105+ win team to win 105+ the following season since then:

1970 Orioles: 108 to 101
1975 Reds: 108 to 102
1986 Mets: 108 to 92
1998 Braves: 106 to 103
1998 Yankees: 114 to 98
2001 Mariners: 116 to 93
2004 Cardinals: 105 to 100
   15. rconn23 Posted: January 11, 2019 at 09:07 PM (#5804860)
I'm generally against contracts past 7 years because they generally are spent on players that are age 30 or older. But the Yankees had the chance to pick one of two players who I believe are transformative and aren't yet in their primes. If various reports are to be believed, the Yankees were the first choice of both Harper and Machado. Hal and company instead decided to pitch pennies while raising ticket prices. I think history will prove that decision to be a massive mistake.

The Yankees will be very good next year and I don't believe the Red Sox are winning 108 again. But the Yankees had the chance to add a player that could have really boosted their hopes and they didn't even put forth any kind of effort to obtain either. Inexcusable. DJ is a good defensive player with a below average bat, nothing more.
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2019 at 09:26 PM (#5804862)
If various reports are to be believed, the Yankees were the first choice of both Harper and Machado. Hal and company instead decided to pitch pennies while raising ticket prices. I think history will prove that decision to be a massive mistake.

Yup. This feels like Sheffield instead of Vlad Guerrero, and Randy Johnson instead of Beltran all over again.
   17. DFA Posted: January 12, 2019 at 02:59 AM (#5804879)
While I loathe the Yankees, I think this could be a decent sign. LeMahieu is a notorious spray hitter, and he could really benefit from the short porch at Yankee Stadium. It's weird to me that they would do with with Gleyber already on the roster, but if they want to make LeMahieu a Zorilla type, than I guess I would wonder a lot about his defense.
   18. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 12, 2019 at 01:35 PM (#5804911)
My issue with this is roster fit, versus with the player - LaMahieu is kind of an underrated guy.

One note that isn't really so much about a (good) team like the Yankees: We need a more nuanced perspective of replacement level by position - it is easier to find fungible second basemen than players for most other positions. This is likely a minor factor for some of the salaries we're seeing this offseason...
   19. Jack Sommers Posted: January 12, 2019 at 01:58 PM (#5804915)
Rockies splits sometimes are overrated

and sometimes....
DJ career .330 AVG at home, .264 on road.

.387/.438/.885 for tOPS+ of 121, vs .311/.362/.673 for tOPS+ of 78


Dan O'Dowd was discussing Rockies' hitter splits the other day on MLB Now with Brian Kenney. The point he was making was that the ball moves so differently at Coors compared to everywhere else. Baseball is a muscle memory sport. So when the players go on the road, on top of the normal road team penalty they have added problem of breaking pitches breaking more than they are used to seeing at home.

I wonder if anyone has studied the Rockies road splits by breaking down game numbers of a road trip. For example looking at all the road trips over the last 10 years, and breaking out Game 1, Game 2, Game 3, etc.


If O'Dowd's theory is correct, I would assume that there should be a progressive improvement as the number of road games increases.

Is anyone aware of any such studies being conducted already ? My Google skills suck. Spent some time looking around but couldn't find it.

EDIT: Also, assuming such a study confirmed O'Dowds theory, what would the solution be ?
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 12, 2019 at 02:24 PM (#5804921)
My issue with this is roster fit, versus with the player - LaMahieu is kind of an underrated guy.


Concur. If they had non-tendered Didi and said Torres was the every day SS, this signing would be fine. But $12M p.a. for a guy who's biggest asset is 2B D, when you already have a young star at 2B, is dumb.
   21. PreservedFish Posted: January 12, 2019 at 02:42 PM (#5804925)
I wonder if anyone has studied the Rockies road splits by breaking down game numbers of a road trip. For example looking at all the road trips over the last 10 years, and breaking out Game 1, Game 2, Game 3, etc.


15 years ago I lurked the Sabermetrics board on Fanhome, which is where MGL and Tangotiger commented and debuted things like UZR and "Super Linear Weights," which was the first version of WAR I ever saw. A Rockies fan put this forward as a hypothesis with lots of data to support. MGL and the heavies investigated it and found that it was absolutely true, a Coors "hangover effect," and it was significant. I don't remember how significant, but it was an overall net negative of more than just a win or two per year that hampered the team. I'm sure the Rockies are well aware and the humidor might have been a way to combat this.

edit > google "Coors Field hangover effect" and there are a number of studies on all this. I wonder if any of them trace it all back to some guy on a message board.
   22. Jack Sommers Posted: January 12, 2019 at 02:45 PM (#5804926)
Thanks PF.

Would love to see an updated version of this. If you ever come across anything update please let me know.

EDIT: So using the "Coors Hangover" in the search, I found several articles, and of course Jeff Sullivan did exactly what I was asking about above, and found......nothing. Rockies hitters did not improve as road trips went on.

article link


   23. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 12, 2019 at 06:28 PM (#5804952)
I'm generally against contracts past 7 years because they generally are spent on players that are age 30 or older.


Me, too. I've always advocated FA conservatism, but if you're going to blow big money on one player, let it be on a kid in his mid-20s. In fact, I'd say there's pretty good evidence that throwing money at a player of Machado's age and caliber is almost always a good idea, no matter where he fits on your team.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: January 13, 2019 at 05:49 AM (#5805020)
The thing about the Coors' hangover effect hypothesis is that it didn't seem to go away after a play left the Rox. (Or so my memory of 10-year-old sabermetric discussions have it.) The couple of ex-Rox who had some success (Burks, Galarraga) were guys who were solid road hitters in their Rox years. Away from Coors

Burks 94-97: 933 755 903 820
AG 93-97: 912 882 759 748 931
Walker 95-03: 845 523 1176 892 894 770 965 917 766
Cirillo 00-01: 869 838 (he was terrible after this)
Bichette 93-98: 701 762 802 697 649 692
Castilla 93-99: 529 838 661 720 885 800 766
   25. Jack Sommers Posted: January 13, 2019 at 01:18 PM (#5805064)
Thanks Walt. Good info.

Something else O'Dowd was talking about was how it's so much more difficult to play a lot of games at high altitude and maintain performance, because of the toll playing at that altitude takes on your body. He was using this to also support Helton's HOF case. I don't know. I looked at how many 145 G seasons NL teams have had since 1998 (Excluding Astros and AL teams because DH might distort the view). 145 G was a subjective choice on my part of course. Just feels like a legit "full time healthy player" number. 150+ is iron man territory, and 140 or less, a player is actually missing 22 or more games, and that usually means either a slightly less than full time player or a guy who had some DL time.

The Rockies are middle of the pack. Interesting that there are low payroll teams near both the top and bottom. And seriously, WTF Mets ?


Phillies 74
Brewers 69
Marlins 68
Cubs 66
Braves 64
Red 62
Diamondbacks 61
Dodgers 61
Rockies 59
Cardinals 58
Pirates 57
Nationals 55
Giants 53
Padres 49
Mets 46


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