First off all, I won’t cheer for Cano’s suspension. This is a bad thing for baseball and for Mets fans. As a fan this hurts, seeing a player I defended and rooted for being suspended for PED’s. That being said, it does open up some more options for the Mets to improve. One option that has been mentioned is Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu.
LeMahieu is coming off back to back terrific seasons with the cross town Yankees. The 32 year old hit .364/.421/.590 over 50 games in 2020. That followed up a season were LeMahieu hit .327/.375/.518 in 2019 for the same Yankees. You can’t deny that LeMahieu and his bat are significant to add to the Mets line-up. The RH bat isn’t striking out a lot and provides consistent hard contact. In 2020, he was in the 86th percentile in exit velo and in the 100th percentile in K%. There isn’t a batter who strikes out less than LeMahieu, while still hitting the ball consistently hard.
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There is a downside to getting LeMahieu, his position. While the suspension of Cano opens a spot at second, where LeMahieu has played most of his career, it’s still not the best fit. This is because we have a good second baseman in-house in Jeff McNeil. McNeil’s best and natural position is 2B. He collected 2 OAA in both 2018 and 2019 at second. While he also played a good third in those years, he struggled in 2020 with a -2 OAA at third. I can see this happening due to the odd preparation coming into the season, still it’s worth mentioning. McNeil is also capable of playing left, but with the likelihood the Mets getting a CF, that should move Nimmo to LF.
So obviously LeMahieu would fit the Mets at some extent, I still believe there are other ways to spend money (Springer/pitching/Realmuto). This will allow one of our finest players to play the position he plays best.
Also read: Free Agent Target: James Paxton
Photo from Sports Illustrated