As the World Champion Dodgers enter the offseason period, many eyes are on the team as far as potential player upgrades go. One position the Dodgers don’t have quite solidified is second base. Kike Hernandez who is a free agent, saw time at second while Chris Taylor, Max Muncy, and Gavin Lux also spent time there last season.
Depending on which players re-sign with the Dodgers, there may be some shuffling around. Hernandez and Taylor can play nearly every defensive position except catcher. Muncy can play around the infield, and Lux may be the most obvious solution, but the Dodgers may not want to rush him, especially if he struggles early.
DJ LeMahieu is a name the Dodgers have been linked to for a couple of seasons now. They were linked two years ago when LeMahieu left the division rival Colorado Rockies for the New York Yankees in free agency. LeMahieu, who’s 32 years old, will enter free agency again after declining the Yankees qualifying offer of one year and $18.9 million.
LeMahieu is coming off a season where he batted .364 for the Yankees, appearing in 50 games during the shortened season. He finished the year third in American League MVP voting behind winner Jose Abreu of the White Sox and Jose Ramirez of the Indians. In his last full season, LaMahieu .327 with 26 homers and 102 RBI. He also had an OPS of .893 and finished fourth in AL MVP voting in 2019.
I’m sure many Dodger fans remember LeMahieu the days of him tormenting opposing pitchers during his stint with the Rockies. In 2016, LeMahieu enjoyed a career year with the Rockies hitting .348 his career-best for a full season.
For the Dodgers, it is worth a shot, but a deal of anything past three years may be too risky regarding LeMahieu’s age. Depending on whether Hernandez re-signs, they may be in the market for a second baseman.
Over the last two years in the Bronx, LeMahieu has a .336 batting average. There are not many baseball players who you can find with those numbers. His batting average for his career is .305, and while he may not have those big power numbers, he does a great job of getting on base. LaMahieu is one of the best, if not the best, opposite-field, contact-hitting, second basemen. During the 2019 campaign in which he hit a career-high 26 homers in one season, he hit more opposite-field home runs than pulled homers.
With LeMahiuer projected to be one of the top free agents in the market, the Giants, Red Sox, Yankees and Mets are all rumored alongside the Dodgers to be the likeliest suitors.
The last contract that LeMahieu signed was a two-year, $24 million deal, so if the Dodgers sign him, it could be something similar, but LeMahieu may want a longer deal.
LeMahieu landing in Los Angeles may be bad news for Lux, but the Dodgers perhaps can package Lux in a trade for a big name if they decide to go that route.
Personally, if I were at the Dodgers I’d give a call to LeMahieu and his agent, as his resume as a hitter is one of the best in the majors. His three Gold Gloves speak volumes about his defensive abilities.