According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, it sounds like that DJ LeMahieu will not be accepting the New York Yankee’s qualifying offer of $18.9 million for the 2021 season, therefore, making him a free agent. The 32-year-old won the American League batting title with a .364 batting average and earned his second straight Silver Slugger award, which will make him very attractive for many teams in need of both power at the plate bat and some infield help.
Over the past two seasons in New York, LeMahieu has provided a tremendously reliable bat at the top of the lineup, slashing .336/.386/.536 and would be a great addition to the much-needed top of the Washington Nationals lineup. LeMahieu can provide the much-needed protection for Silver Slugger Award Winner Juan Soto at the top of the lineup. During his ten-year career, LeMahieu has a batting average of .305, 85 home runs, 478 RBI’s, a slugging percentage of .430, and an OPS of .787. He would be a perfect fit for the Nationals.
In addition to his impressive batting during the regular season, LeMahieu has impressive postseason hitting stats. His postseason stats include a batting average of .272, 11 RBI’s, three home runs, and a slugging percentage .424.
What makes LeMahieu even more of a perfect fit for the Nationals is that he can play multiple positions around the infield. He could play first, second, and third base, all positions that the Nationals need some help at, especially at first. Over his ten-year career, he has a fielding percentage of .991 and has only committed 44 errors that have turned him into a solid infielder if you think about how many positions he has played.
Does DJ LeMahieu make sense for the Nationals
The only negative that LeMahieu might bring is the cost of his contract. The Nationals have many needs to fill from a catcher, pitcher, bullpen help, and outfield players. DJ LeMahieu signed a two year / $24,000,000 contract with the New York Yankees, including $24,000,000 guaranteed and an annual average salary of $12,000,000, and that is pretty steep. According to Spotrac DJ LeMahieu, his calculated market value of $22.8M is a lot when the Nationals have so many holes to fill.
We think it might be a better idea to find a cheaper option for the infield and go big somewhere else, where we don’t know, but time will tell the Nationals big move this offseason.