For seven seasons, second baseman DJ LeMahieu has been a fan favorite in Denver. The two-time All-Star collected three Gold Gloves and a batting title while exhibiting a rare consistency game to game and season to season. But it appears his days with the Colorado Rockies are over.
DJ LeMahieu defended second base like few in the game can and paired a solid bat with his gold glove. He hit .299 in a Colorado Rockies uniform with 49 home runs and 345 RBI, including a three-season stretch from 2015-2017 when he hit .319 with almost 200 RBI and 284 runs scored.
Though his batting average dipped in 2018, LeMahieu hit a career-high 15 home runs, including one particularly clutch bomb that seemed to turn the Rockies’ season around.
At only 30, LeMahieu still has plenty of good years left, but the Rockies have several young, promising prospects ready to play the position at a much lower cost. Ryan McMahon‘s line from 2018 might not look great, but he produced some clutch hits when given regular playing time and the Rockies seem intent on giving him the chance he deserves.
Speedster Garrett Hampson also impressed in limited duty and will get a shot to prove himself. And, of course, the biggest name here is Rockies #1 prospect Brendan Rodgers, who is one of the most promising prospects in all of baseball. Rodgers should get a chance at regular playing time sometime in the near future. That meant that, going into the offseason, LeMahieu’s chances of returning were already slim.
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That was before they inked Daniel Murphy to a two-year contract. And while Murphy is expected to move over to first base, his signing means that if McMahon is going to get a shot at regular playing time, it will have to be at second base. Murphy’s signing also means there’s less money to bring LeMahieu back if the Rockies want to also bring in some other additions or continue extension talks with superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado.
The team at Blake Street Ball recently broke down the likelihood that the Rockies bring back LeMahieu, and what it means for the Rox if they don’t:
While it seems unlikely that LeMahieu returns, baseball front offices (like the game itself) are highly unpredictable so nothing is for certain at this point.