In a Yankees season that was at occasions surreal, maddeningly injury-plagued and finally disappointing, there have been solely a handful of constant vibrant spots. Actually one was first baseman Luke Voit, who led the majors in house runs and the Yankees in video games performed and plate appearances.
Since becoming a member of the Bombers in 2018 as an unheralded acquisition, the 29-year-old Voit has established himself as a borderline elite offensive first baseman, posting a .279/.372/.543 slash line, 143 OPS+, and 57 homers in 892 plate appearances. He’s carried out this at discount basement costs, earning a prorated portion of $643,000 this season within the last pre-arbitration 12 months of his contract. Even factoring in a big increase for 2021 — MLB Commerce Rumors projects Voit to earn between $3.7 million and $7.9 million in his first 12 months of arbitration, relying on how salaries are decided following the shortened season — he represents a steal for the group.
So, appears like time to commerce him, proper?
That concept was notably put forth by former Yankee, and present ESPN analyst, Mark Teixeira shortly after New York was eradicated from the playoffs.
So let’s unpack the logic of buying and selling this productive and inexpensive participant. The concept seems to be a approach to bridge two conflicting diagnoses of the Yankees heading into this offseason. The primary is that they should re-sign DJ LeMahieu, their versatile second baseman who has been the crew’s most useful participant in his two-year stint within the Bronx. The second is that the Yankees want a defensive improve at shortstop after Gleyber Torres’ poor exhibiting with the glove this previous season. If the crew acquires a greater fielder to play quick, Torres would virtually definitely be shifted to second, leaving LeMahieu out within the chilly. Except, in fact, he strikes to first base, usurping Voit.
Each notions, taken individually, are true: the Yankees could be a greater crew subsequent 12 months if they create again LeMahieu; and an improve at shortstop would enhance the squad. The query is whether or not they’re suitable with one another, particularly if the price related to satisfying each is Voit.
It’s a doubtful proposition. For one factor, there’s the matter of cash. A well-liked narrative has emerged in native media that the Yankees will attempt to dip under the $210 million luxurious tax threshold this season. Say what you’ll about that call (like, “Come on, are you kidding me?”), but when shedding payroll is actually a part of the crew’s offseason technique, jettisoning Voit, who would nonetheless be a steal on the higher finish of MLBTR’s arbitration projection, makes little sense. A good wage negotiation for LeMahieu begins at $20 million per season, after which there’s the extra wage the Yankees would want to pay a shortstop to enact this double-barreled plan to enhance the crew’s protection. Voit, with 4 extra years of crew management, most likely represents the higher worth.
The second factor of the rationale for buying and selling Voit is that, as Teixeira put it, “his worth has by no means been increased,” implying the Yankees would stand to internet a big return in the event that they put him available on the market. That is the type of straightforward assumption that greases the wheels of offseason commerce rumors, however it’s a reasonably nebulous proposition. Voit’s worth is definitely excessive… to the Yankees. He’s productive, inexpensive and, crucially, the Yanks didn’t precisely break the financial institution buying him from the St. Louis Cardinals in 2018 — they traded Giovanny Gallegos, who’s blossomed right into a strong reliever, and Chasen Shreve, whereas additionally receiving worldwide bonus slot cash.
How excessive his worth is to different groups, who’d be anticipated to supply up prime expertise for his companies, is much less sure. Name me loopy, however nearly as good as Voit has been, slugging first basemen with apparent defensive limitations don’t normally fly off the shelf. Maybe the Nationwide League adopting the designated hitter completely would widen the marketplace for him, however even within the American League, groups have been shifting away from DH-only bats.
Let’s not overlook the truth that Voit battled by way of a foot damage that left him clearly hobbled. It was admirable, however may very well be seen as a pink flag by potential commerce companions.
The concept of buying and selling Voit isn’t outlandish. However there are lots of elements working in opposition to it and, ultimately, the Yankees will likely be higher off retaining him and hoping he continues to mash the best way he has for the final two-plus years.