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Yankees Add D.J. LeMahieu, Signaling Reduced Interest in Manny Machado

An afternoon after the Mets secured a free-agent 2nd baseman — in spite of having a complete infield already — the Yankees did the similar factor by way of including D. J. LeMahieu, a three-time Gold Glove winner who received the Nationwide League batting crown in 2016.

The Yankees reached a two-year, $24 million contract settlement on Friday with LeMahieu, in line with an individual with wisdom of the settlement. The deal, which is probably not legitimate till LeMahieu passes a bodily, got here sooner or later after the Mets reached a two-year, $20 million settlement with Jed Lowrie.

LeMahieu, 30, has been a mainstay for seven seasons with the Colorado Rockies. He’s a forged touch hitter who batted .348 in 2016 however slipped to .276 ultimate season whilst hitting a career-high 15 house runs. For his profession, he’s a .298 hitter with a .350 on-base proportion and a .406 slugging proportion.

The signing of LeMahieu is any other sign of the Yankees’ reputedly tepid pastime in Manny Machado, the megastar free-agent shortstop. The Yankees courted Machado, 26, in New York ultimate month, however they have got proven little need to provide him the kind of groundbreaking contract he’s mentioned to be in quest of.

Like many Rockies, LeMahieu has hit significantly better in Denver, with its skinny air and its huge open areas within the outfield. The correct-handed LeMahieu is a .329 profession hitter at Coors Box, when compared with .266 at the street. The cut up used to be extra pronounced ultimate season, when LeMahieu hit .317 in Denver and .229 somewhere else.

Even so, he will have to lend a hand the Yankees cut back their strikeouts — handiest two American League groups, the Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox, have been fanned extra occasions ultimate season — whilst bolstering their infield protection. LeMahieu has performed handiest 2nd base over the past 4 seasons, however he has additionally performed 41 video games within the majors at 3rd base and 4 in the beginning.

The Yankees will most definitely use LeMahieu in any respect of the ones spots, however he has excelled at 2nd. Fangraphs ranked LeMahieu as the most efficient defender amongst 16 certified main league 2nd basemen ultimate season, and his presence complicates the placement of Gleyber Torres, who ranked because the worst defensive 2nd baseman.

Remaining week, with shortstop Didi Gregorius recuperating from Tommy John surgical operation, the Yankees signed the veteran shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who overlooked ultimate season with bone spurs in his heels, to a one-year, minimum-salary contract. However they may additionally use Torres at quick, his common place within the minors.

Torres additionally made seven begins at 3rd base within the minors ultimate season and 15 in 2017. Fangraphs ranked the Yankees’ Miguel Andujar ultimate on protection amongst 19 qualifiers at 3rd base, and the Yankees looked as if it would agree in October: They got rid of him for protection in either one of their playoff victories and benched him for his or her removing sport in opposition to Boston.

Whilst a business may just all the time ease their infield logjam, the Yankees for now plan to take pleasure in LeMahieu’s presence in the similar method the Mets hope to take pleasure in Lowrie’s. A deep roster of unswerving, flexible gamers — and the bonus of the designated hitter spot, a luxurious the Mets should not have within the N.L. — would permit the Yankees to stay everybody contemporary and assemble lineups in keeping with platoon benefits, a a success system for a number of contenders.

INSIDE PITCH

The Mets re-signed starter Jacob deGrom to a one-year, $17 million contract on Friday, keeping off arbitration. DeGrom earned $7.four million ultimate season whilst successful the Nationwide League Cy Younger Award, and his $nine.6 million carry is a report for an arbitration-eligible participant. Boston Purple Sox outfielder Mookie Betts in short held the report on Friday after agreeing to a $20 million wage — $nine.five million greater than he made ultimate season, whilst successful the American League’s Maximum Treasured Participant Award. The Mets — whose new normal supervisor, Brodie Van Wagenen, is deGrom’s former agent — stay desirous about a long-term extension with deGrom, 30, who will probably be eligible free of charge company after the 2020 season.

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