Yankees slugger Luke Voit has a message for owner Hal Steinbrenner and company regarding free agent DJ LeMahieu.
“We need him,” Voit told Bruce Beck of NBC on Monday, echoing comments he and teammate Clint Frazier made in December. “I think he’s the best hitter in baseball. I’m literally sitting next to a printer right now and it makes me think of DJ because he’s a freaking machine. We need him!”
No one is doubting the Yankees need LeMahieu, the versatile infielder who has finished in the top-4 of voting for AL MVP the past two seasons and has been their most consistent player since signing as a free agent in January 2019 after seven solid seasons with the Colorado Rockies.
The two sides, however, remain far apart on a new deal, The Post’s Dan Martin recently reported.
Free agency is moving at an even slower pace than in years prior, as owners — long accused of colluding to bring players’ salaries down — now have pointed to the revenue lost to the coronavirus last season as another reason to be frugal this winter.
Steinbrenner in October said the Yankees and their league-high $109 million payroll during the 60-game season were hit harder financially than any other team.
Star free agents Trevor Bauer, George Springer and JT Realmuto still are also without teams, and it took until Monday for a free agent to sign a deal worth $50 million, typically an unremarkable figure, when pitcher Liam Hendricks signed a three-year deal worth $54 million with the Athletics.
That is the type of agreement the Yankees likely would want to reach with LeMahieu, The Post’s Joel Sherman reported last month.
The 32-year-old LeMahieu, who became a superstar in two seasons with the Yankees, is likely looking for a contract in the five-year, $100 million-plus range, Sherman reported.
“I think DJ deserves a lot and I know he wants to be a Yankee,” Voit said. “But I’m sure there’s 4 or 5 other teams that would love to have him too.”
The Braves, Cardinals, Red Sox, Dodgers and Blue Jays reportedly are interested in LeMahieu. The Mets also could have been a potential landing spot for LeMahieu, but their blockbuster trade for shortstop Francisco Lindor last week likely took them out of the running.
“Hopefully we get him,” Voit said, “because he wants to play the rest of his career in New York.”