Monday, 21 January, 2019

D.J. LeMahieu checks a lot of boxes for the Yankees infield

Center fielder Jon Jay catches a fly ball for the Cubs during a game at St. Louis on Sept. 27 2017 Center fielder Jon Jay catches a fly ball for the Cubs during a game at St. Louis on Sept. 27 2017
Cary Erickson | 12 January, 2019, 08:56

The Yanks talks with Machado had reportedly cooled off in recent weeks as the team never really seemed interested in offering him the $300 million-plus contract he was looking for.

LeMahieu is the second prominent addition to the Yankees' infield, on the heels of last week's signing of Troy Tulowitzki. The Yankees are expected to use LeMahieu in a variety of positions next season.

LeMahieu, 29, is perennially among the game's premier defensive second baseman and has consistently hit for average, though his overall production has wavered somewhat on a year-over-year basis. Only Tulowitzki, provided he can stay healthy, projects as an above average defender. Many scouts believe his offensive numbers are mildly inflated by playing his home games at Coors Field.

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While the focus has been on the Bryce Haprer when it comes to the Phillies this weekend, it looks like they may be the favorite now to land Manny Machado. Part of the team's interest in the 30-year-old can be attributed to his versatility. He led Major League Baseball in defensive regression analysis last season. It's a crowded mix but a deep and highly talented one that should provide the Yankees plenty of insurance against injury while also allowing them to field a strong lineup even on days when their top bats are resting.

Outside of his rookie season, where he played sparingly for the Chicago Cubs, LeMahieu's competed for the last seven years for the Rockies at second base.

There's a lot to digest with today's news but the main takeaway other than how this impacts Machado is that LeMaheiu is really going to help the Yankees defensively. The Yankees already are.