Brewers: Don’t Count On a DJ LeMahieu Signing In Free Agency

DJ LeMahieu, New York Yankees Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
DJ LeMahieu, New York Yankees Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /

The former Yankees infielder would solve a lot of problems for the Brewers, but is very likely outside of their price range.

The 2020-2021 MLB offseason has gotten off to a slow start, to put it lightly, in regards to free agency with few teams having made signings up to this point. Of course this means there are plenty of free agents left for the Brewers to sign in order to improve their poor 2020 offense.

It’s no secret that the Brewers could use upgrades to both corners of their infield. We’ve looked at options for both positions such as Tommy La Stella over on the left side of the diamond as well as Carlos Santana over on the right side.

One option that could work for either position would be 32-year-old infielder DJ LeMahieu. Though he is a second baseman by trade, he has seen action at both corners over the last few years. Back in 2019, he played 40 games at first base and 52 games at third base to go along with 75 games at second.

LeMahieu evolved into one of the best hitters in the AL over his last two seasons as a Yankee, slashing .336/.386/.536 in his two-year stint with the club. He finished in the top five in AL MVP voting in each of the last two seasons and won silver sluggers after each campaign as well.

As a result, LeMahieu finds himself as one of the hottest free agent commodities this MLB offseason. So is there any way he could find himself in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform for the 2021 season?

While DJ LeMahieu may be on the wish list of many Brewers fans, the odds of him signing with the Brewers are likely quite slim.

The Brewers acquiring LeMahieu is certainly a fun thing to dream about. Just imagine a lineup that starts with some combination of Lorenzo Cain, LeMahieu, Christian Yelich, and Keston Hiura and try not to get excited.

Any team would be crazy to not want LeMahieu as a part of their team in 2021. Unfortunately for the Brewers, their payroll situation for next season, which we have discussed at length to this point, probably makes this signing more of a pipe dream.

Being one of the top free agents available comes with a hefty price tag. In their 2021 free agent predictions piece, MLB Trade Rumors projects LeMahieu, their No. 5 ranked free agent, to receive a 4-year, $68MM contract, which comes to an average annual value of $17MM per year.

In a similar piece over at FanGraphs where they have LeMahieu as their No. 6 ranked free agent, Craig Edwards predicts a more affordable contract of three years at $31MM. That comes to an AAV of $10.3MM per year.

The only way the Brewers have even a remote possibility of signing LeMahieu is if a number of factors swing in their favor. The contract would have to fall more in the FanGraphs range, it would have to be pretty heavily backloaded to be more affordable now before payroll hopefully recovers down the road, and the team would have to clear up a bunch of space through non-tenders.

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So while LeMahieu would be a perfect fit for the Brewers, a signing is probably not in the cards. Though that doesn’t mean we can’t dream of what he would look like in the lineup.