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Friday, January 15, 2021

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu finalizing six-year, $90M contract, sources say

Second baseman DJ LeMahieu and the New York Yankees are finalizing a six-year, $90 million contract, sources familiar with the agreement told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

LeMahieu finished third in the American League MVP voting after winning the AL batting title with an MLB-leading .364 average over the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, becoming just the fourth player in Yankees history to lead the majors in that category, along with Mickey Mantle (.353 in 1956), Joe DiMaggio (.381 in 1939) and Lou Gehrig (.363 in 1934).

It was the second career batting title for the 32-year-old LeMahieu, who won the National League crown with a .348 batting average for the Colorado Rockies in 2016. He joined Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty (1899, 1902) as the only players to win batting titles in both leagues.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 15, 2021 at 10:41 AM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dj lemahieu, yankees

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   1. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 15, 2021 at 11:34 AM (#5999918)
Nothing against LeMahieu, who through age 29 had one season with an OPS+ above 93, but the 60-game 2020 season has so many small ramifications for how we look at records (both records like LeMahieu being the first person since 1902 to win a batting title in both leagues, to career counting stats for starting pitchers who will already struggle to win 200 games, much less 300).

LeMahieu won the battle title by hitting .423 in 97 at-bats in Yankee Stadium.

97 ABs.

   2. alilisd Posted: January 15, 2021 at 11:47 AM (#5999925)
Winning a batting title in both leagues is a milestone, not a record, but you're right that anything accomplished in 2020 should be viewed through an lens adjusted for the context of a 60 game "season."

Also, love that ESPN thinks Babe Ruth didn't win the batting title in 1924 by hitting .378, 19 points better than Charlie Jamieson's .359, missing out on the Triple Crown by just 6 RBI.
   3. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 15, 2021 at 12:10 PM (#5999929)
Also, love that ESPN thinks Babe Ruth didn't win the batting title in 1924 by hitting .378, 19 points better than Charlie Jamieson's .359, missing out on the Triple Crown by just 6 RBI.

He didn't lead the majors, though. Hornsby batted .424 in the NL that year (the second-highest average post-1900).
   4. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 15, 2021 at 12:12 PM (#5999930)
LeMahieu's career numbers in NYS are ridiculous: .359/.414/.628. His stats there look an awful lot like his career numbers in Coors Field, except that he homered once every 92 at-bats at Coors, and he homers once every 16 ABs at NYS. If you subtract out the homers, his other hitting numbers in the two stadiums are virtually identical (.321 BA with a .374 BABIP at Coors, .311 BA with a .373 BABIP at NYS).

For that reason, he's more valuable to the Yankees than he would be to any other team. But it seems extraordinarily unlikely that he'll be a useful player in six years.
   5. Mayor Blomberg Posted: January 15, 2021 at 12:12 PM (#5999931)
So $2M less than Josh Donaldson and 2 years longer, $10M less than JDM for one year more.
I hope Walt shows up to comment as he was the only person to discuss contract numbers in the first thread.
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 15, 2021 at 03:57 PM (#5999980)
But it seems extraordinarily unlikely that he'll be a useful player in six years.
Sure, but ‘only’ $15M per year factors that in, unless one thinks salaries will be permanently depressed by COVID-related issues.
   7. alilisd Posted: January 15, 2021 at 04:01 PM (#5999981)
He didn't lead the majors, though. Hornsby batted .424 in the NL that year (the second-highest average post-1900).


Ah, well there you go. My bad!
   8. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: January 15, 2021 at 04:12 PM (#5999984)
$15 million a year is a great deal for the Yankees. In 7 years of below-average hitting in COL, he still contributed 16 WAR. Other players making around that same salary number include Mike Moustakas, Mark Melancon, Alex Cobb, Elvis Andrus.....
   9. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 15, 2021 at 04:51 PM (#5999992)
Yeah, tough not to like this from the Yankee's perspective.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: January 15, 2021 at 04:55 PM (#5999995)
Here I am. This is an odd deal ... nobody signs for 6/$90. It's "too long" for a 31-year-old (from the team's perspective) and "too little" in AAV from the player's perspective. It's not bad necessarily, just odd.

I didn't really get into numbers in the other thread (I had to check). The excerpt had thrown around Donaldson 4/$92 and JDM 5/$110. I sorta read between the lines there and figured the Yanks must be at something like 4/$80 and guessed that 5/$100 with an opt-out might work. In light of this deal, it seems unlikely the Yanks went as high as 4/$80. If they were offering 4/$80, settling at 5/$90 would be fairly standard ... this suggests they might have been offering 4/$70 or 5/$80.

Now I do want to make clear that I make no prediction on LeMahieu's performance. The guy of the last 1.5 years has been one of the best players; the guy for the 6 seasons before that was an OK hitter for a 2B providing good defense and other peripherals. One of those guys you'd probably be happy at 5/$125; the other one is a head-scratcher at 2/$24. (What did I say about that?) That's a crazy wide range, not one that will have many comps and I don't have any insight into where he might land. I'm confident he's somewhere between the next Robby Thompson and the next Clemente. :-)

Anyway, I wish Mr. LeMahieu a long and happy life enjoying his $130 M in career earnings.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: January 15, 2021 at 05:05 PM (#5999996)
Well...

Moustakas got 4/$64 taking him through his age 34 season. The AAV is obviously similar but the total's not so much and the ages not so much. Andrus's contract was signed 7 years ago, has 2/$29 left taking him through age 33 (an interesting vesting option there, Rangers need to find a SS quick). I'd still rather have LeMahieu's contract but in comping him to Moustakas, I'd think of it as more 4/$64 vs 4/$90 (deferred) figuring that LeMahieu's not lokely to be contributing much at ages 36-37 (you never know). LeMahieu is likely to be worth at least that much more than Moustakas (you never know) but is Moose worth 4/$64?
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 15, 2021 at 10:25 PM (#6000045)
Here I am. This is an odd deal ... nobody signs for 6/$90. It's "too long" for a 31-year-old (from the team's perspective) and "too little" in AAV from the player's perspective. It's not bad necessarily, just odd.

Too long, and too low an AAV is perfect for the luxury tax.
   13. The Duke Posted: January 16, 2021 at 10:46 AM (#6000094)
So the new logic this year is that teams are paying for X years but getting X + Y years. So the players are having to give up years on the backend to get their money. Maybe this was the McCann logic too. Maybe it was more like 3/40 but the Mets got a free year.

It’s an odd logic for teams but I guess if the player exceeds his “sell by” date, you’ve got a “free year” or “two”. Helps with luxury tax on year X but maybe hurts in the Y years.
   14. depletion Posted: January 16, 2021 at 12:13 PM (#6000098)
Snapper, yes this appears to be a luxury tax deal. The downside in the long term is, of course, that several of these deals will give you expensive pointless contracts in 3 years.
   15. Mayor Blomberg Posted: January 16, 2021 at 12:28 PM (#6000102)
LeMahieu was worth 3.3 bWAR/year over the four years before coming to NY, or 1 WAR/year more than Moustakas's best 4-year run and slightly better than Moustakas's best non-consecutive four years.
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 16, 2021 at 12:33 PM (#6000104)
Snapper, yes this appears to be a luxury tax deal. The downside in the long term is, of course, that several of these deals will give you expensive pointless contracts in 3 years.

Not if you budget for the out years now. Teat it like 4/90 in your cash budgeting, and set up a reserve.
   17. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 16, 2021 at 12:34 PM (#6000105)
[14] On the flip side, if LeMahieu is productive for the first 4 years, it means he turned down a higher AAV over those years while still being able to get paid for the following two years. For example, Justin Turner was in a similar boat four years ago. At the time, I thought a 4 year deal might be a bit longer than he’d be productive but in retrospect, it sure would have been nice if the Dodgers gave him six years, especially if it meant the last four years would have been cheaper.
   18. depletion Posted: January 16, 2021 at 01:34 PM (#6000113)
16: I don’t see how budgeting helps in 3 years if the contract is untradable you have a 15M contract against the cap. Does a contract count against the “cap” if the player is released?
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 16, 2021 at 04:16 PM (#6000138)
16: I don’t see how budgeting helps in 3 years if the contract is untradable you have a 15M contract against the cap. Does a contract count against the “cap” if the player is released?

$15M against the cap just isn't a big deal though, especially when you have 4 years to prepare for it. The key to the luxury tax is don't exceed the last threshold. You can spend $249M in cap dollars every year, and not much bad happens.
   20. donlock Posted: January 16, 2021 at 05:15 PM (#6000147)
Who is offering DJ 50 million or 3 years for $40 million.? No competitors in evidence. Why bid against yourself? Only a few teams offer huge contracts like this. Dodgers?
   21. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 16, 2021 at 05:51 PM (#6000150)
   22. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 16, 2021 at 06:13 PM (#6000152)
[21] If true, then unless he’s garbage 4 years from now, he gave up money by choosing this over the Yankee offer. He could have non-monetary reasons for preferring the Yankees of course.
   23. donlock Posted: January 17, 2021 at 04:16 PM (#6000204)
Dodgers have Max Muncey ;Toronto has Cavan Biggio. This is just silly agent talk to boost his signing. Gee, maybe the Orioles would sign him to replace Hanser Alberto? They are both mammals and can play in the infield... I’m still trying to figure who was bidding against the O’s to give Chris Davis $170 million. Maybe it was the Blue Jays? What does Jon Heyman say?
   24. Gch Posted: January 17, 2021 at 07:39 PM (#6000222)
Toronto has Cavan Biggio. This is just silly agent talk to boost his signing.


The Jays official broadcast partner has reported the 4/78 offer, so it's not silly agent talk. The Jays have space open in their lineup, and both LeMahieu and Biggio can start at multiple positions.
   25. Walt Davis Posted: January 17, 2021 at 08:30 PM (#6000227)
Yeah Biggio has 116 starts at 2B and 34 elsewhere (plus 5 at DH). For the Yanks, LeMahieu has 100 starts at 2B, 58 at 3B and 29 at 1B. Signing LeM might have meant Vlad anchored at 1B.
   26. donlock Posted: January 18, 2021 at 06:16 PM (#6000347)
Sorry. Not impressed by word of the official BluJays broadcast partner. Why is he a credible source, working for the team? DJ, his agent or the gm of the Blue would be more believable. And then the other side could disagree, on the record.

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