Don’t count on the Dodgers seamlessly jumping into the DJ LeMahieu sweepstakes.
Though there’s been some speculation the Los Angeles Dodgers could make a splash and shake things up by bringing DJ LeMahieu to town, we wouldn’t entirely count on it. We’re not ruling it out, but it’s far from likely scenario.
Many have chalked up the stalled negotiations between LeMahieu and the New York Yankees as an advantage for the Dodgers, but that’s hardly the case. Yes, the Dodgers essentially print money, but so do the Yankees. And LeMahieu’s reported contract demands are far from a bargain.
It looks like Andrew Friedman and Co. would have to offer the star slugger a five-year, $100 million deal in order to have a chance here. Remember, according to the latest buzz, LeMahieu will be exploring other options on the open market but will be in contact with the Yankees throughout the process.
The Yankees reportedly offered four years for $75 million, but LeMahieu’s camp is insistent on a fifth year, and that $25 million gap is considerable. Let’s not forget the Dodgers have a lot of other players to worry about, so breaking the bank for LeMahieu, who isn’t exactly a need for this team at the moment, might be a bit of an oversight.
For starters, the Dodgers reportedly want Justin Turner back and aren’t concerned about his desire to land a three-year contract. If LA can keep him, the nucleus of the team remains intact, they get their starting third baseman back, and won’t have to shift the infield around. Yup, just bringin’ back the World Series champs. That’s a win right there.
On top of that, contract extensions for Corey Seager, Clayton Kershaw and Cody Bellinger need to be prioritized. Those players are way more important to the Dodgers than LeMahieu would be, if we’re being totally honest with ourselves. And what about the bullpen? Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly and Corey Knebel will likely be free agents after 2021.
There are just too many conflicting factors present for the Dodgers to spend $20 million per year for LeMahieu’s age-32-36 seasons, which the front office may not be comfortable doing (most may not be, in fact).
Bringing him in, at the very least, would mean Turner is probably gone. Either that, or Seager or Gavin Lux would be traded if Turner and LeMahieu are signed. Or, if Turner isn’t brought back and they sign LeMahieu, either Seager or Lux would have to agree to a position change (likely Seager moving to third, with Lux at short and LeMahieu at second base).
The Dodgers signing LeMahieu was already relatively complicated. Now, with this high asking price he doesn’t seem to be budging on, it’s almost a pipe dream, if you can even call it that.