Yankees trade Luke Voit to Padres

11:10 a.m.: The Padres also announced the trade, placing righty Michael Baez on the 60-day disabled list to create a 40-man roster spot for Voit.

11:04 a.m.: The Yankees announced the trade.

10:47 a.m.: Padres, Yankees agree to trade by sending first baseman Luke you from New York to San Diego, reports MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (Twitter link). Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweet that minor league right hander Justin Lange is directed to the Yankees in return. Lange, 20, was the 34th draft pick in 2020 but struggled with the Padres’ rookie-ball affiliate on his pro debut last year.

The writing for Voit has been on the wall at least since New York re-signed Anthony Rizo – and probably longer than that. The Yanks acquired Rizzo last summer when Voit was on the injured reserve for the third time that year alone, and since the end of the 2021 season they have been connected to Rizzo, Freddie Freeman and Matt Olson as they made no secret that they were pursuing alternative options to the outgoing Voit.

Voit’s trade marks the culmination of a rapid shift in the organization’s stance towards him. Just a year ago, Voit was heading into spring training as an everyday first baseman, having led the Majors with 22 homers in the truncated 2020 season. However, a knee injury in camp led to meniscus surgery which kept Voit out of action for the first six weeks of the season. Voit returned in early May, but just two weeks later returned to the 10-day IL due to an oblique strain. That issue kept Voit out for another three weeks, and he only lasted a month before returning to IL in mid-July due to persistent inflammation in his surgically repaired left knee.

In total, Voit was limited to just 68 games and 211 plate appearances in 2021. When he was in the field, Voit remained somewhat productive, slashing .239/.328/.427 (111 wRC+), but his Offensive production was far from close. its peak levels. Beyond leading the Majors in long balls during the brief 2020 season, Voit had raked in from the time the Yankees acquired him from the Cardinals in exchange for relievers. Hunter Shreve and Giovanni Gallegos.

Largely blocked from regular playing time in St. Louis, Voit immediately proved to be a hidden gem unearthed by the Yankees. He homered 14 in less than two months in 2018, and in 892 trips to the plate as an 18-20 Yankee, he batted .279 / .372 / .543 with 57 home runs, 31 doubles. , a triple and a walk rate of 11.5% against a strikeout rate of 26.3%. Even adding to his “low” year last season, Voit’s time with the Yankees will end with a strong .271/.363/.520 batting line in 1,133 plate appearances.

This type of production would be a boost for any roster, and the Padres in particular could use a punch of this nature at first base and/or the designated hitter. San Diego first basemen, led by Eric Hosmer, achieves a combined .275/.337/.412. It’s not a terrible production by any means, but the resulting 106 wRC+ placed 20th in the Majors. Most concerning was that the Padres, as a team, only hit .241/.324/.380 against left-handed pitchers (94 wRC+, 24th in MLB). Voit, a career .264/.344/.516 hitter against the left-handed pitcher, should be particularly helpful when it comes to this shortcoming – though it’s important to note that he shouldn’t be considered a pitcher. peloton. On the contrary, Voit actually has slightly better career numbers against right-handed throwing.

Productive as he has been at the plate throughout his tenure with the Yankees, Voit is a below average defenseman at first base. The Yankees have made improving defense a clear priority lately, as evidenced not only by the return of Rizzo, but also the move. Gleyber Torres at second base, acquiring Isiah Kiner-Falefa take the reins at shortstop and move Gary Sanchez to the Twins in favor of what is currently projected to be a first pair of gloves Kyle Higashioka and Ben Rortvedt (acquired in this deal with the Twins).

Voit is now heading to the Padres not just for the 2022 season, but possibly through 2024. He is still eligible for arbitration, projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn $5.4 million in 2022 before to earn a pair of raises in addition to this amount. It’s an eminently reasonable price to pay for a hitter of Voit’s caliber, especially if he can ramp up production away from his 2021 output and closer to his 2018-20 levels.

More soon.