DJ LeMahieu has arguably been the Yankees' MVP this season, coming into Wednesday's game hitting .333/.382/.512 with 11 homers, 16 doubles, and 52 RBI in 73 games.
How much different would this season be if LeMahieu had wound up on the Rays instead? According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, it almost happened.
Prior to signing with the Yankees in January for $24 million over two years, LeMahieu was "perhaps a few days away from signing with the Rays" before the Yanks improved their offer and locked him up, reports Rosenthal.
According to Rosenthal, after Yankees GM Brian Cashman improved his offer for LeMahieu, his agent informed Cashman that while LeMahieu had multiple offers elsewhere from teams willing to play him at second base every day, he preferred the "challenge" of becoming a Yankee and playing all over the field.
After accepting that challenge, LeMahieu has so far had the best season of his career, which includes his eye-popping numbers with runners in scoring position.
In 76 plate appearances with runners on this season, LeMahieu is hitting a ridiculous .478/.493/.701. And because of some last minute machinations by Cashman, he's doing it in New York instead of Tampa.