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Yankees make signing of versatile infielder DJ LeMahieu official

Slick-fielding former batting champion can play second or third base.  

Colorado Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu (9) in

Colorado Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu (9) in the eighth inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Denver. The Rockies won 6-4. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Photo Credit: AP/David Zalubowski

The Yankees on Monday officially announced the signing of DJ LeMahieu, adding to their infield depth — with or without Manny Machado. The two-year contract reportedly is worth $24 million.

The Yankees also designated outfielder Tim Locastro for assignment.

While the Yankees still are not out of the Machado pursuit, LeMahieu’s signing provides much-needed infield insurance. He is a three-time Gold Glove winner at second base, including the last two years, and also can play third.

With Didi Gregorius out until at least midseason while recovering from Tommy John surgery and Troy Tulowitzki as their presumed starting shortstop — he hasn’t played since 2017 because of injury and heel surgery — the Yankees needed to solve a particularly tricky riddle.

Now Gleyber Torres can move to shortstop if needed, with LeMahieu playing second. LeMahieu also will be able to back up Miguel Andujar at third.

LeMahieu, 30, has played 892 games at second, 41 at third and four games apiece at shortstop and first. According to FanGraphs, he was sixth in MLB last year in runs saved (18), tops in that category among second basemen and seventh in overall defensive value.

The two-time All-Star also won a batting title with the Rockies, hitting .348 in 2016, and is a career .298 hitter. LeMahieu has played nearly all of his eight-year career with the Rockies. He hit a career-high 15 home runs last year and had a .276/.321/.428 slash line and 62 RBIs.

It is unclear whether this signing takes the Yankees out of the Machado sweepstakes. He reportedly is being pursued heavily by the Phillies and White Sox.


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