The Machine is returning to the Bronx. After a couple of months of snail-paced negotiations, the New York Yankees agreed to sign free-agent infielder DJ LeMahieu to a six-year contract worth $90 million. LeMahieu led the American League in hitting last season with a .364 average and became only the second player in MLB history to win a batting title in both leagues.
LeMahieu, 32, is a career .305 hitter after nine full seasons with the Colorado Rockies and the Yankees. He was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs.
During the last two seasons with the Yankees, LeMahieu appeared in 195 games and slashed at .336/.386/.536.
The Yankees didn’t want to lose their most consistent player over the past two seasons during a difficult time when the team was plagued with injuries to numerous starters. As a result, LeMahieu demonstrated adaptability and versatility by playing multiple infield positions.
|WHO IS DJ LeMAHIEU?
- Hometown: Bloomfield Township, Michigan
- Nickname: The Machine
- Age: 32
- Bats/Throws: Right/Right
- Career Average: .305
- HR: 85
- RBI: 478
- Batting Titles: 2016, 2020
LeMahieu made the All-Star team three times (2015, 2017, 2019). He won the Silver Slugger Award the last two seasons. In addition, he won three Gold Gloves with the Rockies in 2014, 2017, and 2018.
In 2016, LeMahieu hit .346 for the Rockies and won the NL batting title.
Hall of Fame outfielder “Big” Ed Delahanty won batting titles in both leagues with the Philadelphia Quakers in 1899 and the Washington Senators in 1902. It took 118 years before LeMahieu joined Big Ed as the only players in MLB history to win a batting crown in both the AL and NL.
DJ LM MVP
Over the last two seasons, the always-reliable LeMahieu was up for anything. He’ll play whatever position skipper Aaron Boone asks him to play him, whether it was dealing with injuries or giving other players a much-needed day off.
“LeMahieu was the Yankees’ best player in 2019 and 2020, and the team was not blind to that,” said Lindsey Adler from The Athletic. “LeMahieu acts as an anchor of reliability in a Yankees lineup that trends very swing-and-miss heavy when their top players are healthy. In the clubhouse, LeMahieu’s teammates see him as a model for how to approach the job.”
LeMeahiu’s consistency earned him the team MVP.
“If you add up the last two years in the MLB, he’s on the short list of short lists for being the best player in the sport,” said manager Aaron Boone during the 2020 postseason. “He’s been that impactful. In the biggest moments, he always seems to deliver.”
Now that the Yanks locked up LeMahieu for the next six seasons, they’ll begin their search to shore up the rotation by re-signing Masahiro Tanaka or pursuing the best free-agent arm on the market.
LeMahieu signed a two-year deal worth $24 million two seasons ago. He reportedly rejected a four-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays worth $19.5 million a season.
The New York Yankees are +550 odds to win the 2021 World Series, according to a recent update by DraftKings.