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Dodgers Offseason: Could DJ LeMahieu’s Asking Price be Too Much for LA?



DJ LeMahieu is the top free agent position player on the open market and is reportedly looking for a handsome payday. The former Rockies and Yankee star is coming off his second batting title and has found his name linked to several teams this offseason — most often the Yankees, but the Dodgers have reportedly been in the mix.

However, now with his rumored contract demands being leaked to the world, it’s hard to envision an LA connection with the slugger. MLB insider Bob Nightengale reported over the weekend that LeMahieu is seeking a 5-year, $100 million deal this winter.

While much of the chatter involving the Dodgers open third base spot have involved Colorado superstar Nolan Arenado and incumbent Justin Turner, the 32-year-old LeMahieu makes sense for the club. At least on paper.

His name was frequently linked to LA the last time he was a free agent before ultimately ending up with New York. At the time he was coming off something of a down year (87 wRC+). Now, he’s posted back to back near-elite seasons (136, 177) and is looking to cash in.

And that’s where things get dicey with the Dodgers. The odds of Andrew Friedman handing out $100 million to an aging infielder seem slim at best. Moreover, with Justin Turner — even with his rumored ask of a three-year deal — there’s more control for a club that has top third base prospect Kody Hoese two years away from big league time at best.

Back to LeMahieu, the Yankees remain his top destination this offseason. However, rumors are circulating that the two sides are fairly far apart on money, with one report saying “the chasm is more than $25 million.” While that bodes well for teams like the Dodgers or perhaps Blue Jays, it’s hard to see Los Angeles truly in play at that price in years.

NEXT: MLB Writer Feels Dodgers Are in ‘Perfect Position’ to Wait Out Nolan Arenado Trade

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. Exactly for any team concentrating on signing its own home-grown players like the Dodgers with Seager, etc spending that type of money for a 5-year deal makes little sense. Same reason Arenado, Lindor, and Bauer are long shots at best.

  2. Yeah, just don’t see Friedman spending big on aging free agents. Btw, there’s a really good article on espn.com regarding Arenado. Basically, it’s saying that Arenado has got to chose between playing for the money or playing for a ring…he can’t/won’t have both. Colorado is in a real pickle…

    • lemahieu is aging? nicely aging is more like it. the advantage of signing free agents is you don’t give away prospects. friedman’s m.o. is keep and develop prospects to blend in with all stars.

  3. Don’t need to sign anyone for 5 years not named Bellinger, Buehler, Seager, or Urias. End of discussion.

  4. I wonder how legit that info is, 5 yrs 100 mil. I think most teams will be offering a lot less money and years until the owners are sure they can recover their income streams. Its a really tough offseason to try and get paid.

  5. DJ LeMahieu is a good hitter for average, but he has very little power. His 10 yr average OPS is just .779 and OPS+ is 102. Arenado, Bryant or just resigning JT are all better options.

    • The Dodgers hit a lot of homers but many are solo shots. You have several power bats fewer players who actually know how to shorten up with two strikes, hit against the shift or bunt for a hit. Betts, JT and CT3 can do this but homeruns with runners on base (enter DJ) would be a great benefit. Tommy John was quoted saying he no longer watches baseball because he doesn’t recognize the game. This idea of taking 3 massive swings and heading back to the bench with their .220 BA seems counter productive.

  6. 5 year $100M is not unreasonable., although it limits flexibility for signing future upcoming homegrown FAs. If they did move on this, I would keep JT at 3B, and put DJ at 2B, where the Dodgers have had an hole for several years. Lux is expendable. Taylor can get the job done at 2B, but he might become the sole all purpose guy if Hernandez signs elsewhere, which seems likely. After 2 or 3 years, Hoese could move into 3B, unless Rios continues to do well there.

    • like it! i put in a lowball bid on a house and lost it being cheap. $20m/year is not overpaid for the best 2nd baseman in the majors. that signing would give us the best infield and lineup top to bottom in the majors or close to it. plus…..guaranteed rings! hope the dodgers don’t blow this going cheap.

  7. Sign at least one starting picture who can give 6-7 solid innings during the whole season. Arenado, though expensive, would be worth it if we don’t sign anyone else. Great opportunity for young arms in the upper minors.

    • nope. don’t need starters. we already have 6 and the staff led the majors in most pitching stats. turner is not too far off from arenado, is cheaper, and we don’t have to give up prospects.

  8. I might have mentioned this before, as I would be fine with getting DJLM, BUT not for the money and deal that would keep Dodgers from re-sign those home grown players Rainbirdmuse mentioned.

  9. You don’t sign a hitter just for homeruns, you sign Dj because he is a pure hitter, and a really good second baseman, the Yankees don’t want to sign him for 5/25m$, so if your the Dodgers witch my guess would be his second choice unless he wants to stay in the American league, I would offer him a nice signing bonus, and 4 yrs 20-22.5 for 4 years?

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