DENVER -- An era of quiet Rockies production ended Friday when fan-favorite second baseman DJ LeMahieu agreed to a two-year, $24 million contract with the Yankees.
LeMahieu's departure leaves second base to a group of young competitors -- Ryan McMahon, headed into his second Major League season; Garrett Hampson, whose rookie status is intact after 24 regular-season games in 2018; and Brendan Rodgers, the No. 9 prospect in the Majors and No. 1 in the Rockies' system according to MLB Pipeline.
• Rockies comfortable with youthful options at 2nd
One of them can only hope to provide the accomplishment and stability that LeMahieu provided after arriving in a 2011 trade with the Cubs that goes down as one of the best in club history.
Here are some of the accomplishments that made LeMahieu, a two-time All-Star and the 2016 National League batting champ, the Rockies' pre-eminent second baseman:
• According to baseball-reference, LeMahieu ranks eighth in club history in Wins Above Replacement at 17.6, just behind Ubaldo Jimenez (21) and Vinny Castilla (19.4)
• LeMahieu's three Rawlings Gold Glove Awards rank behind Nolan Arenado (six) and Larry Walker (five), and are tied with outfielder Carlos Gonzalez (a free agent this winter) and Todd Helton.
• LeMahieu started the past five Opening Day games in Colorado. Before him, the high-water mark for a streak was three (Mike Lansing, 1998-2000), and no other player had started more than two Rockies openers in their career. Even more, LeMahieu's 877 games at second (849 starts) were more than twice as many as the next player -- Eric Young (413; 389 starts).
Beyond history, the younger Rockies will be looking to make up for the solid numbers LeMahieu posted in 2018. The veteran slashed .276/.321/.428 with a career high 15 home runs and led National League second basemen in fielding percentage (.993), ultimate zone rating (.859) and defensive runs saved (18). All this was despite three stints on the disabled list that limited him to 128 games.