Report: Dodgers, Twins, Nationals have preliminary talks with LeMahieu
DJ LeMahieu's market appears to be taking shape.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, and Washington Nationals have all reportedly had at least preliminary discussions with the free-agent Gold Glove second baseman, according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com.
LeMahieu has spent the vast majority of his eight-year career with the Rockies. He helped Colorado reach the playoffs twice and won a batting title in 2016. The 30-year-old is best known for his glovework, though, as evidenced by his three Gold Glove awards, including one this past season; in 2018, his 18 defensive runs saved and 11.0 ultimate zone rating led all second basemen.
Despite owning the one batting crown, LeMahieu's career home-road splits are dramatically tilted in favor of Coors Field, where the thin air has seemingly inflated his offensive stats.
All three interested teams have potential openings at second base. The Dodgers, in particular, could use a steady hand at the keystone after starting eight different players at the position in 2018. Their second basemen were worth a combined minus-0.9 WAR last year, per Fangraphs, the worst total production at the position in the league.
Washington, meanwhile, doesn't have a clear-cut starter at second right now. Veteran Howie Kendrick, who missed most of last season after rupturing his Achilles tendon in May, would appear to be the front-runner for the job ahead of backup infielders Wilmer Difo and Adrian Sanchez.
The Twins may be eyeing LeMahieu as a shorter-term solution before highly regarded prospect Nick Gordon is ready to take over full time. Gordon was recently added to the team's 40-man roster and could make his big-league debut at some point next season.
This past season, LeMahieu appeared in 128 games for the Rockies and hit .276/.321/.428 (88 OPS+) with 15 home runs, 62 RBIs, and six stolen bases. He went just 3-for-15 over the Rockies' four postseason contests.