Given recent reports regarding the Yankees’ desire to lower payroll, all Yankee fans need to begin bracing ourselves for the likelihood that D.J. LeMahieu will be calling someplace other than the Bronx “home” next season.
I’m not going to get into the potential loss of DJ today – we all know how good he is. Since April of 2019 he’s done nothing but hit line drives and play multiple positions well. His reticence and proclivity to hustle instead of watching his line drives also make him a fan favorite to those who aren’t quite yet sold on the “let the kids play” look at me crowd of players. But the reality is, the people who guard Hal Steinbrenner’s money (Yankees’ value just under $5 billion, Hal’s net worth just under $4 billion) are unlikely to OK giving a relatively small amount to invest in DJ.
Keyword; “Invest”. Players are not expenses, they are investments that are very likely to net a positive return.
It’s times like these that I like to remind everyone that the Yankees, like all MLB teams, will be receiving $17 million more from TBS each year for the next eight, and the teams don’t have to do anything they aren’t already doing. Just a simple, “Hey, here’s another $17 million annually for all of you, love – TBS.” (They also are officially done with Ellsbury’s contract, so there’s that money off the books as well.)
So let’s assume DJ is a former Yankee. We know that Gleyber Torres has never shown that he can play shortstop on a Major League level, so back to 2nd base he goes where his glove and arm are less damaging. Add two and two together and the Yankees need to sign a short stop.
In a perfect world, Andrelton Simmons would be a custom made fit for the Yankees. Elite level defense at short (one of the best of all time) and a plus bat over the past few seasons. Given that he didn’t have a huge contract to being with and he’s been on and off the IL recently, his price tag will be manageable (a one year, reasonable rate, prove you’re healthy kinda’ deal that Didi went with in 2020 maybe?)
But here’s the problem: Ankle sprains do not just go away. (Pause, I repeat…) Ankle sprains do not just go away. Not only do they bring a relatively high level of recurrence, but a sprained ankle very commonly leads to other bio-mechanical problems. I’m the guy who told you about James Paxton – trust me – I’d love Simmons in pinstripes but his health is a big risk.
So here’s the plan:
Sign a defense first shortstop. The Yankees are going to score a ton of runs in 2021 regardless of who their shortstop is, but run prevention was not a strong suit last season. Get a plus defensive short stop to address a weakness at a key spot. Jose Iglesias is available Mr. Cashman – just sayin’…
Then at the end of the ’21 season, you back up the Brinks truck and hand it to Francisco Lindor. If he doesn’t want it, give it to Cory Seager.
Problem solved, crisis averted.
Did I miss something? Let me know.
Buy me a coffee?
If you like the blog and you’d like to see more of it, feel free to buy me a coffee – Starbucks, tall, dark, no room. It doesn’t seem like much but every little bit helps keep the blog going. Thanks in advance!