Really the only thing tying the Cardinals to DJ LeMahieu is the fact that the Cardinals declined Kolten Wong’s option and could use a second baseman so they kicked the tires early in the offseason, but this is technically news in a very slow baseball news cycle so... we shall discuss it.
DJ LeMahieu became a free agent this offseason after declining an $18.9 million qualifying offer from the Yankees. According to MLB Trade Rumors, the “32-year-old LeMahieu is reportedly seeking a five-year, $100MM contract”. Since becoming an everyday player in 2014 LeMahieu has been one of the top second baseman in the league coming in at 18.5 fWAR behind Jose Altuve (32.6), Robinson Cano (22.8), and Brian Dozier (21.1). Altuve signed a 7-year deal worth $163.5 million in 2020, Cano is on 10-year, $240 million deal he signed with the Mariners in 2013, and Brian Dozier is a free agent who made... $100K in 2020 (remind me to look more into that, folks).
Even the Yankees seem to be balking at the asking price and while that is apparently where LeMahieu wants to stay, the two sides do not appear any closer to a deal. According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports “LeMahieu has asked his representatives to re-engage with teams that have previously shown the most interest, among them the Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets, and to reconnect with teams that reached out early in the free agent period, including the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox and others.”
It seems very unlikely the same Cardinals that declined a $12.5 million option for Kolten Wong and are rumored to be less willing to spend this offseason would be interested in dropping a large amount on a 32-year-old second baseman. Kolten Wong still remains one of the team’s best options at second base (maybe Brian Dozier is a good candidate as well). On that list above of top performing second baseman since 2014, Kolten Wong is seventh at 15.6 fWAR (recall LeMahieu was at 18.5). This is admittedly some very quick analysis, but this just does not seem like a move the Cardinals would make. If anything, it makes the case to re-sign Kolten Wong look even stronger, though, at least to this so-called writer.
what else is going on in baseball...
According @piodeportes the San Diego Padres are negotiating a contract extension with Fernando Tatis Jr. for 11-years, $320 million.— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) January 9, 2021
The offer is expected to be made public next week.