According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, sources have told her that the Oakland Athletics have expressed interest in free agent second baseman DJ Lemahieu.
Oakland A’s Have Expressed Interest in DJ Lemahieu
While the A’s are working to bring back All-Star second baseman Jed Lowrie, his asking price may raise too high for their liking this offseason and they are putting a back-up plan in order.
At 30 years old, Lemahieu is four year younger than Lowrie. He could certainly be had on a two-three year deal. MLBTradeRumors.com estimated that he might receive two years and $18 million this offseason.
A Look at Lemahieu’s Career
The Colorado Rockies acquired Lemahieu from the Cubs in 2011. He spent the past seven seasons of his big league career has a serviceable second baseman for the Rockies.
In 2015, he broke out in a huge way and was named to his first career All-Star game. For the season, he hit .301/.358/.388 with 21 doubles and 23 stolen bases. Since then, Lemahieu hasn’t looked back.
The 2016 National League Batting Title
In 2016, he finished fifteenth in National League MVP voting. He took home the National League batting title after finishing the season with a .348 batting average. Lemahieu also set career highs with a .416 on-base percentage, a .416 slugging percentage, and a .911 OPS.
Last season, Lemahieu had a bit of a decline in the average department, but he picked up his power numbers. Over 128 games, he hit .276 but tied his career high with 32 doubles. He also set a new career high with a total of 15 home runs.
Potential Logjam in Oakland?
If Oakland were to bring in Lemahieu, they create a bit of a logjam at second with top infield prospect Franklin Barreto. As Slusser notes, a platoon between the two righties wouldn’t make sense, as Lemahieu hit just .249 against right-handed pitching in 2018.
Slusser suggests that the Athletics could look to trade Barreto for starting pitching help. She also suggests that if Oakland were to add a full-time second baseman Barreto could be moved to shortstop or see some playing time in the outfield.