Mets: Robinson Cano’s suspension should lead to signing DJ LeMahieu
By Jake Giblin
With the recent news of Robinson Cano’s second positive test for PEDs, does the newly freed-up millions make DJ LeMahieu a perfect fit for the New York Mets? It sure does.
Keep going! (BEEP BEEP BEEP). Almost there! Just a few more feet! Ah, perfect, thanks Robbie! See you back with the New York Mets in 2022!
That was Robinson Cano backing his truck up to DJ LeMahieu’s house, gifting him his 2021 salary. At least that’s basically what will happen if the Mets now pivot to LeMahieu in light of Cano’s positive test for the steroid stanozolol.
Although Cano will still have two years, $48 million left on his contract after his suspension ends, this is where Steve Cohen can flex his financial might by either paying Cano and releasing him or by just telling him to go take a seat on the bench. At this point, Cano should be grateful for whatever he gets.
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Even before Cano’s positive test, people around Major League Baseball had linked the Mets to LeMahieu, and for obvious reasons. For starters, don’t you think Steve Cohen would love to steal away one of the Yankees’ best players in his first winter as the owner?
Even though Cohen made it clear that he’s not competing against just the Yankees, there’s no doubt that outbidding his crosstown rival for LeMahieu would send a huge message and be a big hit among the fanbase.
Logistically, how would LeMahieu fit into the Mets current lineup? Seamlessly. As a right-handed hitter, he would give the Mets more balance, as they’ve been heavy on the left side in recent seasons. He’d probably slot in as the new leadoff hitter but is certainly capable of hitting anywhere in the middle of the lineup.
The 32-year-old LeMahieu is an excellent hitter with runners in scoring position and drives the ball to all fields with authority. He hits for a high average and has won the batting title in both the National (2016), and American League (2020). Along with his great hit tool, LeMahieu has plenty of pop, evidenced by his 26 home runs in 2019. The man is a hitting machine who’s shown no signs of stopping anytime soon.
Defensively, LeMahieu – who is a three-time Gold Glove winner- would easily be able to fill the hole left at second base by Cano’s steroids. I mean suspension. If needed, LeMahieu can also play adequately at both first and third base. Imagine how happy someone like Jacob deGrom would be to turn around and see DJ playing behind them.
LeMahieu is going to be looking for at least a four-year deal. Would the Mets be willing to offer a fifth in order to pry him away from the boys in the Bronx? I think so. At 32 he still has a lot of good seasons left in the tank. His defense will surely decline towards the end of the deal but not to the extent to which it should be a concern. With the DH likely to remain in the National League, that should further alleviate any concerns about LeMahieu’s age at the back end of the deal.
The Mets had their chance at LeMahieu two winters ago but opted to sign Jed Lowrie instead, and we all know wonderful of a decision that turned out to be. If that isn’t the most Mets move ever, then I don’t know what is.
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Fortunately, Steve Cohen has come in to save the day and right the wrongs of the previous regime. The time is now, and what better way to show the big bad Yankees that we can eat at the adult table too. Like Sandy Anderson said, we’ll have some meat and potatoes, but we want the gourmet options as well.