The Brewers Have To Make A Decision Today Regarding Luke Voit
Luke Voit was signed by the Milwaukee Brewers to a Minor League contract just days before the start of spring training games. Even though this was just a few weeks ago, the Brewers will have to make a decision on him today. According to Joel Sherman, Voit has the ability to opt out of his contract on March 16 if he is not a member of the 40-man roster by then.
If Voit is added to the Brewers roster, he will earn a base salary of $2 million. What's not clear at this point is if Milwaukee has the ability to "stash" Voit in the Minor Leagues by adding him to the 40-man roster and subsequently optioning him down. The 32 year old has options remaining and has not yet accrued five years of Major League service time, which would permit him the ability to decline a Minor League assignment.
What should the Brewers do with Luke Voit?
Voit had been in the center of Brewers trade rumors for the past several seasons, but now that he is in Milwaukee, is keeping him around what's best? He has a very similar profile to that of Keston Hiura, but Voit seems like the better option offensively. Not to mention, Hiura is out of minor league options.
Performance wise, the 2020 home run king still has the ability to hit long balls. This is evidenced by him slugging 20+ home runs in three out of the last four seasons, but a near 30% strikeout rate and decreasing walk rate are issues. Plus, he's not a high batting average type hitter, so he's essentially slug or bust.
During spring training so far, Luke Voit is hitting .346 with two doubles, one homer, and a .908 OPS.
If the Brewers do elect to keep Luke Voit around, he likely would serve as the back up first baseman. He has reverse splits, so platooning him with Rowdy Tellez doesn't make the most statistical sense, but the only other option for him to get at-bats would be at designated hitter.
As it stands today, Jesse Winker figures to get the majority of playing time at DH. However, as the season progresses, Winker could see more playing time in the outfield. This could allow Voit to slide into a more consistent DH role. On paper, this makes the most sense from an offensive maximization standpoint.
It's always possible that initially nothing happens and he elects to temporarily remain with the Brewers, but at some point he will be itching to get back to the Major League level whether that is in Milwaukee or elsewhere.