The Dodgers apparently don’t want to go too hard after DJ LeMahieu…yet.
When Los Angeles Dodgers fans were hit with the report suggesting Justin Turner wanted a four-year contract, that seemed to have changed everything. Truth be told, everyone felt the 36-year-old would be getting a two-year deal in free agency (three years, max), which would’ve kept the financial risk somewhat minimal.
But that buzz seemingly made the DJ LeMahieu rumors louder. Just give the 32-year-old a five-year deal and out-bid the New York Yankees for him! Sounds easy enough. You’d rather a fifth year for LeMahieu than a fourth year for Turner, right? The Dodgers have been eyeing LeMahieu for years, so it’s not like this interest is a short-lived phase or attraction.
“The Dodgers are in the mix for LeMahieu’s services, but like the Yankees don’t appear willing to offer a five-year contract nor the average annual value LeMahieu’s agent Joel Wolfe is hoping to get,” Bowden wrote this week.
Well, didn’t the Dodgers know that that’s what they need to do if they want to pry LeMahieu from the Yankees? Report after report has suggested that the MVP finalist is likely to return to the Bronx unless he gets a fifth year or a considerably higher AAV elsewhere. We know the Dodgers are the defending World Series champs, but LeMahieu’s in a pretty darn good situation right now. He’ll need some convincing to leave.
Perhaps the Dodgers were hoping the Yankees lowballed LeMahieu to the extent that he was frustrated and ready to bolt for another contender assuming the price was (somewhat) right.
However, that doesn’t seem to be the case. LA fans who were rightfully excited about LeMahieu wearing Dodger Blue should probably temper their expectations at this point. While it’s clear the franchise’s pedigree as one of the best in the sport holds weight on its own, players aren’t dumb. They know the Dodgers have money to throw around. LeMahieu isn’t taking a discount or a smidge above or below what the Yankees are offering just to relocate.
This is his last chance to earn the big bucks and he’s going to make sure he gets it. If the Dodgers can’t offer him that, they better have a Plan B.