Should Dodgers Pursue DJ LeMahieu?

(Matt Slocum/Associated Press)

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.

19 thoughts on “Should Dodgers Pursue DJ LeMahieu?

  1. Before he went to the Yankees two years ago, I really would have liked to have seen him sign with LA. The Yanks got him for 2 years at 24 mil, and that was a bargain. He just turned down 18.9 million QO. He is going to want at least a 2 or 3 year deal. And I believe it will be for over 50 million. I do not think the Dodgers we even consider signing him. But that us just my take. I think they are committed to seeing who the real Gavin Lux is.

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  2. I have no problem with the Dodgers going after DJLM, but Jose I think you’re way off on the kind of contract he will get. Most estimates I have seen are somewhere around 4/65 to 4/75 so 2/24 isn’t going to get it done. Even if Covid reduces contract length and $ by quite a bit I’m sure he’ll get at least 3/48 at the very least.

    I disagree with Bear about the Dodgers not even considering him but I do think he’ll get a better offer somewhere else.

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  3. Bear my man you maybe right, but if we are going to keep us in the “win now” phase we cannot continue to sit on our past achievements like we always had and finally broke out of that mindset and signed Mookie. That was great, but we can’t stop now. DJ is a hugh upgrade than anybody we have that can play 2nd and if they do not bring back JT, even 3rd. 32 years was a long time and if you’re going to be honest with yourself over the last 8 years you can see why we didn’t win the championships. We look at our team and are complacent on what we have, which proved over and over again it was not good enough! We went and signed Mookie which proved to be just enough.. for this year.. we need to continue to add what’s needed for next year! Watching the WS and the playoffs we have a hole. Right hand batting! they bring in left handed pitchers to neutralize Belli, Muncy, Joc and Seager and that left us Pollock, Taylor, Barnes and Smith. Taylor had some key hits but overall was not a threat and Pollock..wow almost a automatic out. Smith shined in moments. We need a threat like we have from the letf side just as much as the right.

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  4. Everything I’ve read says his numbers are his second best quality. He is an outstanding clubhouse guy and teammate – something the Dodgers really value. He’d fit right in from a team chemistry stand point and has a great chance to win a WS ring here – better than the Bronx. Heck, it’s not my money – how about 2/$45 million?

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  5. La segunda base es la única interrogante de los dodgers para la próxima temporada; además, es un hueco que desde hace varias temporadas no han podido llenar, definitivamente la contratación de DJLM sería continuar en la competencia para obtener otra serie mundial

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      1. I think it’s great that we have someone new here who prefers to communicate in Spanish and someone else who can obviously speak both Spanish and English so, if you wouldn’t mind Terry, could you furnish translations?

        The more commenters the better as far as I’m concerned, but my Spanish consists of a teacher in 8th grade who thought we could learn the language by giving us open book vocabulary tests. That didn’t work. I can pick out that you’re discussing second base and LeMahieu but that’s about as far as I got.

        Thanks.

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      2. what I said was, a person who is thinking of second base with winning as a priority.
        How ya doing today buddy

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      3. Hey Terry. Thanks for the translation. Doing well, hope you are too.

        If I assume that $ is no object (which is hardly a logical assumption), I think DJLM would be a great signing. As you mentioned, he not only plays second base but could also fill in at 3rd and 1st. Also, he’s a hitter who gets on base and hits to all fields.

        I’m not sure which side I’m on but there seem to be two different views here:
        1) Give Lux the better part of a season to see if he develops into the player we think he can be.
        2) If we don’t get better this off season, other teams will pass us and we want to stay strong and win another WS soon.

        If we follow your view (#2), how about this: Re-sign JT with him sharing 3rd base and DH (if there is one) duties with Rios. Sign DJLM as our second baseman. Trade Lux, Ruiz and a young prospect (not Gray) for Hader. Then sign Hendriks or May for the bullpen.
        2021 opening day lineup: Mookie (RF), DJLM (2B), Seager (SS), JT (3B), Bellinger (CF), Smith (C), Muncy (1B), Pollock/CT3 (LF), Rios (DH).
        Bench: Pollock/CT3, Barnes, Beaty, McKinstry
        Starters: Kershaw, Buehler, Price, Urias, Dustin May
        Bullpen: Hader, Trevor May, Gonsolin, Kenley, Graterol, VGon, Kelly plus 1 of Floro/Kolarek/White

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      4. I like that, it kills 2 birds with one stone. You get the right hand bat and a all star on the field. Hendriks showed me a lot and would be a great addition. Hader lost a little something this past year but I think working with our pitching coach it can be found. I still think we need starting pitching as well. I’m a big Bauer fan and for argument purposes as we saw in the WS, we had no 3rd starter. Price might not play again with the virus still active and no promises in sight as far as I’m concerned. The kids ( Gonsolin and May) showed that they are not ready for the big light (World Series).

        Extend Belli and Seager of course, sign Bauer to 3 year deal, sign DJ 3 year deal, Sign Hendriks 2 year with club option. I sign JT if there is a DH or he takes a pay cut. Trading for Hader would be nice.

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      5. I’m a big Bauer fan also. He’d be fun to watch on the mound and also to listen to. He’s definitely different. Kind of reminds me of a talkative Greinke (another one of my favorites) mixed with the old Dodger reliever Mike Marshall, all wrapped into one.

        For what it’s worth, Price has stated he intends to play in 2021, but who knows what Covid will look like on April 1st.

        I really doubt that you’d be able to get the Dodgers to spend all the money it would take to do everything you’ve outlined here but I suggest you call Andrew and try to convince him. He’s listed in the phone book. 🙂

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      6. LoL.. I doubt they spend anything at all to be honest. I’m hoping they’ve changed there mindset on how it was the last 7 years. The problem I have here Jeff is that The Dodgers organization knows that they will fill that stadium pretty much every game going over 3 million repeatedly. They know we will come out and support them and hoping we win with whatever team they put out there. Then the off season comes and we hope and wish they get these players and they don’t, and we still buy the merchandise and attend the games loyally, only to be disappointed again because they didn’t do anything in the off season to make the team better, and why would they,? Knowing the faithful will be rooting and cheering our beloved Dodgers as they come up short because management knows they can count on us!!.

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  6. This is a real no-brainer. We’ve had a problem at 2nd base for over 10 years, and we don’t have anyone who can hit from the right side, excepting Pollock occasionally but not in post season., and we don’t really have anyone at the top of the order who can get on base consistently.

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  7. Hah, you guys make me laugh, and before I make my point I’ve got to admit I’m just as bad as you are.
    We’re talking here like we just went though another losing playoff and the front office never does enough to get us to the promised land.
    Remember the following:
    1) We just won the World Series
    2) We might have the best team going into next season if Andrew did absolutely nothing this winter
    3) Since the end of the 2019 season, AF traded some very good prospects for one guaranteed year of Mookie (a potentially risky move).
    4) Gave Mookie 365 million to stick around for another 12 years (a major financial move)

    We’re talking the same way we did early last winter and look what he did between then and now. I guess it’s “what have you done for me lately?” and by lately I mean since October 27th.

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    1. Good morning Jeff, Yes we did make a deal we were trying to make for at least a year so if we are going to wear that feather that’s kool. But like I said every off season has almost been a disappointment with signing free agents. Too say we are just as good is wishful thinking. Subtracting JT, Kike, Joc, and the guys from the bullpen makes a hugh difference. At least in my opinion.

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      1. I would be astonished if JT wasn’t back. I think that both sides want that to happen (although it would be made a lot easier if we knew that the DH was coming back). I think both JT and Andrew want to wait for that answer because that will go a long ways to determining how much JT is worth on the open market.

        It wouldn’t be totally shocking to see Kike or Joc return but that will be a matter of what other teams offer them. I know they both loved being a part of this team but both also feel they can be everyday players.

        I expect Andrew to add a few pieces to the bullpen so it will just me a matter of whether you and I will be able to agree on whether he did a good job.

        With regard to the major free agents out there, I really don’t think we have a need for another starter (Bauer), or another catcher (Realmuto) and bringing Springer in after the Houston stuff just ain’t gonna fly. That leaves DJLM and I’d be more than happy to see him in Dodger blue.

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