There have been two constants for the Dodgers this MLB hot stove season. One is that they are interested in the Indians’ starting pitchers and the other is that they continue to show interest in DJ LeMahieu.
As day two of the winter meetings begin there is another mention that the Dodgers are interested in former Rockies’ second baseman DJ LeMahieu. Normally this time of the year there are tons of rumors that get thrown out and never come to fruition but there has been plenty of smoke regarding the Dodgers and LeMahieu this winter.
Second base is an interesting position for the Dodgers this winter because they already have three solid candidates in Kiké Hernandez, Chris Taylor, and even Max Muncy but they do not appear to be willing to settle with those three. There is no doubt that Hernandez and Taylor have big value to the Dodgers as utility men and the Dodgers may want to get a primary second baseman to keep them in their current roles.
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While LeMahieu may not be a big upgrade over Taylor and Hernandez offensively, his defense is the game changer between the three. Last season, LeMahieu posted a DRS of 18 and a UZR/150 rating of 12.5. Both Taylor and Hernandez ranked average at best defensively although it’s hard to gauge their defense at second base since they were always moving around and never got a chance to settle in at one position.
Playing at Coors Field it’s fair to wonder how much Coors Field has aided DJ’s power but over the last three seasons, he has more home runs on the road with twenty of his thirty-four home runs coming on the road. LeMahieu would also help balance out the Dodgers’ left-handed heavy lineup since he hit .340 against lefties over the previous three seasons. He remains one of the best second basemen on the market with the others being Daniel Murphy, Jed Lowrie, and Brian Dozier.
The Nationals are another team that has shown interest in LeMahieu as they appear willing to spend money to bolster their overall lineup instead of splurging to keep Bryce Harper. The Dodgers’ game plan is to fix their holes at catcher, second base, and in the bullpen so adding LeMahieu would certainly help check off one of their boxes. Jacob Rudner made the case against signing LeMahieu earlier this off-season so it will be interesting to what the Dodgers do.