The Yankees haven’t made it any secret that their top offseason priority is to re-sign second baseman DJ LeMahieu. However, they’re facing serious competition from American League rival Toronto. The Blue Jays may be the top threat to the Yankees for LeMahieu, Jeff Passan of ESPN reports.
At last check, the Yankees and LeMahieu – a 2020 AL MVP and the league’s batting champion – were far apart in contract negotiations. The 32-year-old LeMahieu is reportedly seeking a five-year, $100M contract, while the Yankees seem to be in the $75M to $80M range over four seasons. The two sides want to stay together, but unless they’re able to close the gap, it could open the door even more for the Blue Jays. MLBTR predicted at the outset of the offseason that the Jays would end up with LeMahieu, who would form an excellent double-play tandem with shortstop Bo Bichette. Cavan Biggio would presumably move from second to third on a Toronto team with LeMahieu, giving the club one of the league’s top infields.
Bichette would like to see LeMahieu move north, as he told teammate Ross Stripling (via Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News): “I think DJ LeMahieu is the best hitter in baseball, and I don’t even really think it’s close, from what I’ve seen. He’s probably the No. 1 player I’d want to play with in the league. If that would happen, that would be awesome for us, but either way, man, our team’s pretty good already.”
Having gone 32-28 in 2020, the Blue Jays do look like a top contender in the AL. They finished a game behind the Yankees, though, and if they’re going to to overtake New York, it would help to steal one of its best players. The Jays are making a real effort to do just that.