DJ LeMahieu has reached an agreement with the New York Yankees on a $ 24 million contract over two years, league sources told Jeff Passan of ESPN.
LeMahieu will join the Yankees after seven impressive seasons with the Colorado Rockies including two All-Star selections, three Gold Glove Awards and the 2016 National League hitter title.
Aged 30, he was ranked among the best defensive players in the National League in 2018 and led all major leagues – regardless of their position – in defensive regression analysis. Offensively, LeMahieu (6-foot-4) is known as a slap scorer who travels regularly into the opposite field, hitting .266 with 15 home runs, 62 RBIs, 90 RBIs and 6 steals last season.
The offensive production of LeMahieu in Colorado is subject to the usual dissection. His overall figures are skewed by his .329 / .386 / .447 career slash line at Coors Field. But in the past two seasons, he has hit 16 of his 23 homeruns on the road. And he hit .303 on the road in 2016 and .294 in 2017 before diving to .229 in the Coors gap last season.
The Yankees have been looking for filing cabinets in the absence of the short stop Didi Gregorius, who is recovering from an operation at Tommy John and who is not expected until the summer. The team recruited the former Rockies call Troy Tulowitzki last week and said it would be the short start stop. LeMahieu will probably see time go into second, third and maybe even first.
New York was also part of the teams related to the star of free agents Manny Machado. The field player met the Yankees, Phillies and White Sox last month.
While the Rockies wanted to keep their base group intact – with Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon – the team has inexpensive options through the system with the screening officers Garrett Hampson and Brendan Rodgers.
"DJ is the ultimate rockie you never hear about," said Blackmon late in the regular season. "He's a guy you take for granted, because he's always out there, every bullet that's hit him is an out, he always has professional drummers, and he always does what's right."
Arenado added, "He's the same man every day, whether he's good or bad, he sets the standard for us, we go where he goes, really."
LeMahieu, a second round pick by the Chicago Cubs in 2009, has a career-high .298 with 49 shots, 349 RBIs, 501 points scored and 75 steals since entering the majors in 2011.
Associated Press contributed to this report.