DJ LeMahieu Reportedly Declines Yankees' Qualifying Contract Offer

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorNovember 11, 2020

New York Yankees' DJ LeMahieu (26) hits a RBI single in the fourth inning of Game 1 of an American League wild-card baseball series against the Cleveland Indians, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)
David Dermer/Associated Press

DJ LeMahieu will not accept the New York Yankees' $18.9 million qualifying offer by the Wednesday deadline, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. He will instead enter free agency.

As Feinsand noted, LeMahieu's decision isn't surprising considering his performance over the past two seasons for the Yankees.

He had 26 home runs, 102 RBI and a .327 batting average in 2019 before leading the majors with a .364 batting average and the American League with a 1.011 OPS in 2020.

LeMahieu signed a two-year, $24 million contract with the Yanks before the 2019 season after playing his rookie season (2011) with the Chicago Cubs and the following seven years with the Colorado Rockies.

The Yankees would be wise to bring back LeMahieu, who has been their MVP ever since he arrived in the Bronx. However, they'll face plenty of competition for the 32-year-old.

Per Dan Martin of the New York Post, the Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays are all interested in his services. The New York Mets, who were just purchased by billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen, could conceivably be in the mix as well.

Cohen told reporters Tuesday that the Mets will be acting like a "major-market team," so he could be ready to spend big and make his team a contender once again.

The Yankees always have deep pockets themselves, so they should be in the mix for LeMahieu. The question is whether a rival team will go over the top in its quest for a World Series.


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