The Milwaukee Brewers are still on a search for a bat to add to their lineup as the transaction freeze has lifted. That search might head in a new direction now.
David Stearns made some moves before the lockout, and the addition of Hunter Renfroe helped cover for the loss of Avisail Garcia, but that was replacing a hole that popped up with an equivalent piece, and not a big upgrade for the offense that desperately needed one. An upgrade is still needed.
The main hole offensively is at first base/DH. The Brewers have a couple of options in Rowdy Tellez and Keston Hiura to handle first base and then rotate through other position players to handle DH currently. That group could certainly use the addition of another big-time bat.
One potential option was Nelson Cruz, but he just signed with the Washington Nationals, so he’s off the board. Then, in a different trade, Josh Donaldson was sent to the Yankees for Gary Sanchez, with other players included. With another corner infielder in the mix in New York and the Yankees looking at big time first basement like Anthony Rizzo, Freddie Freeman, and Matt Olson, incumbent Luke Voit looks to be available.
With the Milwaukee Brewers on the search for 1B/DH help, Yankees 1B/DH Luke Voit could emerge as a trade target for David Stearns.
Luke Voit was the MLB home run leader in the shortened 2020 season, slugging 22 home runs while hitting .277 with a .948 OPS and a 157 OPS+.
He regressed a little bit last year and dealt with injuries, which is what led to the Yankees acquiring Anthony Rizzo at the Trade Deadline and effectively putting Voit out of a job in New York. While he’s currently the top guy currently on the Yankees depth chart, they’re clearly looking to make a big splash at the position and move on from Voit.
The Brewers could be the perfect team to take advantage of that. They’ve previously been connected to Voit when he’s on the trade market.
Just because Voit is coming off a down year and his big breakout came in a shortened season doesn’t mean he’s not a quality player. When healthy, he brings plenty of power and production. He’s been an above league average bat by OPS+ every year except for his rookie season in St. Louis.
The 31 year old Voit is under team control for three more seasons and is entering his first year of arbitration. He’s projected to earn $5.4MM this year. Those three years of control line up perfectly with the Brewers contention window.
Voit won’t cost too much in terms of a return package. This won’t cost any top prospects. Despite the desire of many Yankees fans on Twitter, it won’t cost Josh Hader, either. A couple solid-mid level prospects should get it done.
Things are continuing to move quickly on the free agent and trade front. The Yankees could look to move Voit before they acquire another first baseman or after, but once it’s after, the Yankees have a lot less leverage in talks.