DJ LeMahieu is the top free agent position player on the open market and is reportedly looking for a handsome payday. The former Rockies and Yankee star is coming off his second batting title and has found his name linked to several teams this offseason — most often the Yankees, but the Dodgers have reportedly been in the mix.
However, now with his rumored contract demands being leaked to the world, it’s hard to envision an LA connection with the slugger. MLB insider Bob Nightengale reported over the weekend that LeMahieu is seeking a 5-year, $100 million deal this winter.
While much of the chatter involving the Dodgers open third base spot have involved Colorado superstar Nolan Arenado and incumbent Justin Turner, the 32-year-old LeMahieu makes sense for the club. At least on paper.
His name was frequently linked to LA the last time he was a free agent before ultimately ending up with New York. At the time he was coming off something of a down year (87 wRC+). Now, he’s posted back to back near-elite seasons (136, 177) and is looking to cash in.
And that’s where things get dicey with the Dodgers. The odds of Andrew Friedman handing out $100 million to an aging infielder seem slim at best. Moreover, with Justin Turner — even with his rumored ask of a three-year deal — there’s more control for a club that has top third base prospect Kody Hoese two years away from big league time at best.
Back to LeMahieu, the Yankees remain his top destination this offseason. However, rumors are circulating that the two sides are fairly far apart on money, with one report saying “the chasm is more than $25 million.” While that bodes well for teams like the Dodgers or perhaps Blue Jays, it’s hard to see Los Angeles truly in play at that price in years.