Bridich has a tough decision to make regarding LeMahieu. Defensively, there is not a better second baseman in the game right now. And offensively, LeMahieu has formed a potent duo with his good friend Charlie Blackmon at the top of the order, setting the table for years for guys like Arenado and Story.
But the Rockies have a lot of youth at the position in the minors. Top prospect Brendan Rodgers (#10 overall according to MLB Pipeline) can play second, shortstop, and third. For the moment, third base is taken, and Story has played well enough to claim shortstop. That leaves only second base for Rodgers, who has excelled at Double-A Hartford so far this year, hitting .287 with 13 home runs and 46 RBI in a league where the average player is over three years older than him.
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Rodgers isn’t the only prospect vying for a shot at second. Garrett Hampson has put together an impressive 2018 between Double-A and Triple-A, posting a .306 batting average, 5 home runs, and 25 RBI to go along with an astounding 26 stolen bases. Hampson’s advantage is that he’s played some outfield as well in his minor league career.
With prospects like Rodgers and Hampson, it seems unlikely that Bridich will bring LeMahieu back on a long-term deal like the six-year contract Blackmon got, especially if he wants to sign Arenado to a long-term contract to prevent him from becoming a free agent after the 2019 season. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see LeMahieu return on a one- or three-year deal as long as he doesn’t ask for too much money.
All we know is that LeMahieu wants to stick around, and so far in 2018, he’s giving the team plenty of reasons to let him do just that.