Luke Voit is currently on a Minor League contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. His first opportunity to opt out of his contract was on March 16. Following the passing of this deadline, Voit announced to the media that he is extending his opt out date until Friday March 24. This is just six days before Opening Day.
Why would Luke Voit do this? It's clear. He wants to be a Milwaukee Brewer.
Voit has said in numerous interviews this spring that he likes the fit in Milwaukee and that he was very excited to come here. Him voluntarily extending his opt out deadline is his way of saying find room for me. If Matt Arnold and company are unable to do this, he likely will sign elsewhere.
Here are three ways that the Milwaukee Brewers can make room on the 40-man roster for Luke Voit.
Option #1: Place Justin Wilson on the 60 day IL
Justin Wilson, a left-handed veteran reliever, was signed to a contract in mid-February. The 35 year year old is currently on the mend from Tommy John Surgery and isn't expected to pitch in game action until atleast July.
A trip on the 60-day IL is inevitable and it would open up a 40-man roster spot for Luke Voit without having to remove anyone in consideration for the Opening Day roster.
Option #2: Move on from Keston Hiura
Luke Voit and Keston Hiura have similar profiles, but Voit has had a better track record of success. Hiura also is out of Minor League options.
This makes the former first round draft pick expendable and Voit could take his roster spot. Perhaps the Brewers could trade Hiura for a low level prospect if there's enough interest on waivers if he's designated for assignment. But there's practically no chance that Hiura and Voit could co-exist on the same Brewers roster.
Option #3: Return Rule 5 Draft selection Gus Varland
It has been an interesting spring training for Gus Varland. He was selected in December's Rule 5 draft out of the Dodgers organization, but has not played above Double-A. Results have been mixed on him so far during Cactus League play, so if the Brewers feel like they are not going to retain him, returning him to the Dodgers would open up a roster spot for Luke Voit.
We will see over the course of the next six days what happens with Luke Voit. He's had a good spring training, so he is making the decision of to add him to the 40-man or not tough on Brewers upper management. If they're going to ultimately add him to the roster, they need to clear space to do it and these three options are the most likely ways to get it done.