The New York Yankees are about to sign the contract with independent player-player DJ LeMahieu, YES's Jack Curry and The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. The agreement is waiting for a physical.
This is somewhat unexpected as LeMahieu, a second baseman, would not seem to have a place to play in New York, as Gleyber Torres is currently at second base. Curry says, however, that the Yankees imagine that LeMahieu will play several internal positions, including the first and third base. It should also be noted that Torres is able to handle short stops, where Troy Tulowitzki, subject to injury and rather rusty, is currently in pencil.
Of course, the Yankees also have Miguel Andujar at third base, and at some point this year, Didi Gregorius will come back from his elbow surgery. Aaron Boone will certainly have many roles to play, that's for sure. It would also seem that this decision definitely takes the Yankees out of the Manny Machado contest, at least unless they make an exchange to allow him to play.
LeMahieu, 30, was N.L. Champion of the Rockies in 2016, but beat a combined total of .294 / .350 / .418 (91 OPS +) in the past two seasons. This has happened at Coors Field, but Yankee Stadium is not a bad place to hit. The question is how often will he have a chance to hit given the crowded Yankees' camp.
Free agent picker John Axford is looking for a job with the Blue Jays. The right-hander said Saturday that he was ready and willing to assume a mentoring role with the team and that he intended to contact Toronto officials about the possibility of a return in 2019 (via Ben Nicholson-Smith from Sportsnet.ca).
Axford, 35, played most of his 2018 season with the Blue Jays, clocking 4.91, 3 BB / 9 and 8.8 SO / 9 in 51 innings. However, he was traded against the Dodgers on the deadline for right-handed minor leagues, Corey Copping, and threw only 3 2/3 in the last third of the season.
It remains to be seen if the Blue Jays would be receptive to a meeting. Even if they are, Nicholson-Smith points out that the club could exchange Axford again – a possibility that the attacker seemed to take into account in his comments. The right-hander's health is complicated because the last two seasons have given the fWAR of his career to date, having missed a lot of time with a sprained shoulder and a broken fibula. Whether he remains healthy or not in 2019, Axford may well live up to its promise of providing experienced leadership to the young core of the Blue Jays. For now, the ball lies in the camp of the Blue Jays.