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Cashman: Yankees will try to keep LeMahieu – MLB.com

The Yankees are continuing negotiations with infielder DJ LeMahieu, according to general manager Brian Cashman, who told the YES Network on Thursday that the organization intends to retain the American League MVP Award finalist.
“We’re going to try to keep him here,” Cashman said. “He loves playing in New York,

The Yankees are continuing negotiations with infielder DJ LeMahieu, according to general manager Brian Cashman, who told the YES Network on Thursday that the organization intends to retain the American League MVP Award finalist.

“We’re going to try to keep him here,” Cashman said. “He loves playing in New York, loves playing for the New York Yankees and our fan base, and he clearly loves his teammates. There’s a lot of things in our favor, but ultimately, it comes down to the financial opportunity that we provide, as measured to the financial opportunities that others are providing.”

The 32-year-old LeMahieu is reportedly seeking a five-year deal in the $100 million range. The reigning AL batting champion after hitting .364 in the pandemic-shortened season, LeMahieu compiled a .336/.386/.536 slash line in 195 games with the Yankees the past two seasons. He signed a two-year, $24 million contract before the 2019 campaign.

“We have good intentions when it comes to DJ LeMahieu and trying to re-sign him, and I think he has the same on his end,” Cashman said. “Free agency is very complicated and tricky. It’s a competition. The dance and the conversations will continue. We certainly hope for a positive outcome, but it’s also possible that there isn’t one, so we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Cashman said that he is not ready to entertain contingency options at second base, though he acknowledged that Gleyber Torres “is a better second baseman than a shortstop.” Torres’ nine errors tied for the most among AL shortstops in 2020.

“I’m not playing the blame game, but he wasn’t in the best shape to start [Summer Camp],” Cashman said. “Upon his return from the shutdown, we spent a little bit of the first half of the season playing catch-up — maybe it was the first 40 or 45 games of the season. Once we got him back on line and in shape toward the last 20 games, including the playoffs, he was the Gleyber Torres we’re used to seeing.”

If the Yankees were to lose LeMahieu and seek a shortstop, Didi Gregorius, Marcus Semien and Andrelton Simmons are among the most prominent free agents. The Indians’ Francisco Lindor and the Rockies’ Trevor Story could be potential trade targets.

Cashman said that the Yankees are seeking a bounce-back performance from catcher Gary Sánchez, who batted .147/.253/.365 with 10 homers and 24 RBIs in 49 games this past season. Though Sánchez may have to battle Kyle Higashioka for the starting job in the spring, Cashman noted that Sánchez is only one year removed from his second AL All-Star selection.

“We tendered him a contract because we still believe in the talent and player,” Cashman said. “I think the overall career he’s had thus far gives us a little bit more hope that this past season was unique. Don’t really put all your eggs in that basket and expect that’s who he really is. We don’t think that’s the case.”

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.

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