Nationals: DJ LeMahieu interest reminds us of ’19 decision on Brian Dozier

DJ LeMahieu #26 of the New York Yankees throws to first base during a spring training game against the Washington Nationals at Steinbrenner Field on February 26, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by John Capella/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
DJ LeMahieu #26 of the New York Yankees throws to first base during a spring training game against the Washington Nationals at Steinbrenner Field on February 26, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by John Capella/Sports Imagery/Getty Images) /
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The Washington Nationals are seeking the employment of DJ LeMahieu much like they did in 2019. The consolation prize back then was Brian Dozier and it worked out alright.

When DJ LeMahieu first hit the open market following the 2018 season, the Washington Nationals were in hot pursuit. So were other teams.

LeMahieu was just two years removed from an All-Star campaign where he hit .310 and three years beyond hitting a major league leading .348, as a member of the Colorado Rockies.

The Nationals were in need of a second baseman as they traded Daniel Murphy to the Chicago Cubs as they fell out of playoff contention in 2018.

As the calendar turned to 2019, LeMahieu signed with the New York Yankees for 2 YR/$24M. Was it the second year of the contract the Nationals didn’t want to commit to? Their consolation prize for missing out on LeMahieu was Brian Dozier, signed for one year at nine million dollars.

Dozier was coming off a trip to the World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers after they picked him up in a deadline deal with the Minnesota Twins.

In his time with the Nationals, Dozier struggled some. He provided some pop with the bat, hitting twenty home runs and twenty doubles, but yielded little else. He hit .238 and struck out one in every four at bats. As the season wore on he lost his job to Asdrubal Cabrera, who was plucked off the scrap heap after the Texas Rangers released him in early August.

As the Nationals tore through their opponents on the way to winning the World Series, Dozier tallied just seven postseason plate appearances, with a lone walk to show for his efforts. He is best remembered for his shirtless locker room dances after the team advanced each round.

Do the Washington Nationals wish they had DJ LeMahieu the first time around? Of course not. The way the cards fell, Dozier was a part of a World Series winning team. LeMahieu had two great years with the Yankees, albeit years without playing in a World Series. He has set himself up nicely to score a big payday this offseason.

Next. Signing DJ LeMahieu may mean no Trea Turner extension. dark

That payday may come from the Nationals, if they decide to get their man the second time around.

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