Rockies Insider: Will Yankees make same mistake Colorado did by letting DJ LeMahieu walk in free agency?

The Rockies Insider.

With MLB enduring another slow offseason, DJ LaMahieu remains one of the most intriguing players on the market.

LeMahieu, the Yankees’ best player the past two years, has stated his desire to return to New York. In turn, Yankees GM Brian Cashman expressed the franchise’s “strong preference” to bring back the versatile infielder who slashed .336/.386/.536 with a .922 OPS across his first two seasons in the Bronx.

It sounds like a marriage that has every reason to work out with LeMahieu returning to New York, but Rockies fans know how a seemingly sure move can change in a hurry. Remember a couple offseasons ago, LeMahieu stated his desire to return to the Rockies, who drafted him in the second round in 2009.

But instead of bringing LeMahieu back, GM Jeff Bridich went out and signed Daniel Murphy to the same deal LeMahieu got in New York (two years, $24 million) to play a position (first base) not half as well as LeMahieu ended up playing it with the Yankees. Throw in the wide gulf between the two’s offensive production — Murphy largely underperformed in the box — and the awfulness of Bridich’s decision is clear.

The former Rockies star — whom many fans and critics didn’t believe in until he got to the Big Apple — was previously dismissed by some as a product of Coors Field, but LeMahieu’s pair of top-four finishes in the MVP race over the past two seasons have proven otherwise.

Now that he’s a bona fide national star, and now that his seven years in Colorado have been validated by success with a high-profile club, LeMahieu is reportedly demanding a hefty contract in the range of four-to-five years and in the neighborhood of $100 million. While the Yankees slow-play re-signing him, the 32-year-old’s also reportedly drawing interest from the Dodgers (uh-oh), Blue Jays, Mets, Braves and Cardinals, among others.

A LeMahieu reunion in Colorado is surely out of the cash-conscious Rockies’ price range, but New York should do the infielder right. Unless he’s trying to imitate Bridich’s incompetency for retaining all-star ballplayers, Cashman should pay the man already. What is he waiting for?

— Kyle Newman, The Denver Post

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Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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