You win the pool if you predicted, two months ago, the best day of the Yankees’ 2018-19 offseason would entail them bringing DJ LeMahieu aboard.
Nevertheless, here we are, and here Manny Machado isn’t. If the Yankees haven’t fully broken off their flirtation with Machado, in that the talented free-agent infielder hasn’t decided on his next employer, they’re well on their way. Thanks to their mastery of the proportional response.
Signing Machado to a mammoth contract as a reaction to Didi Gregorius’ Tommy John surgery, or to Miguel Andujar’s poor defense at third base, never made much sense, and that’s even before addressing the legitimate questions about his personality fit. The Yankees’ greater long-term concerns reside in the outfield, where there just happens to be a lefty-hitting, big-stage-loving free agent named Bryce Harper still available. At the least, the Yankees should meet and engage with Harper the way they did with Machado and see if common ground can be found.
They should approach Harper the way the Dodgers have — in other words, “We’re interested in signing you, only on our terms” — and that would mark another admirable emulation of the two-time defending National League champions. For signing LeMahieu to a two-year, $24 million contract, the properly proportionate response to what’s going on with the left side of the Yankees’ infield, is a very Dodgers-esque move.
The Dodgers have become the senior circuit’s best team because they compile quantity of quality and give manager Dave Roberts options for as many situations as they can conceive. The 2018 Dodgers’ home-run leader, Max Muncy, didn’t even start the team’s first two World Series games.