The New York Yankees canâ€™t rely on utility player DJ LeMahieu to cover the first base position forever. Eventually, they will need to solidify the spot and give him the freedom to return to his favorable positions. That begs the question, is manager Aaron Boone keen on giving Luke Voit a second chance at life at first base?
Voit, who finished the season batting .263 with 21 homers, missed the last quarter of the year with a sports hernia. He also missed the entire postseason despite his desire to be a part of the active roster. His 2019 campaign wasnâ€™t bad, and while his offensive production undoubtedly made up for his defensive mishaps, there could be a place for him on the team moving forward.
The Yankees signed Voit to a one year, $573,000 salary last season, which makes him more valuable considering his low price tag. If they can re-sign him for a similar amount of money, he would be a steal once again for the Bombers. Also, he fits their ideology and homerun centric mentality. He can be a reliable designated hitter as well if the Yankees manage to find a more defensive first baseman.
The New York Yankees could explore other avenues on the FA market:
There are several other options on the market, though. Howie Kendrick is one of them, and at 36 years old, he hit .344 for the World Series-winning Washington Nationals. Over 334 at-bats, he recorded 17 home runs and 62 RBIs (baseball-reference). He had a stellar campaign for the Nationals this year, and he is an attractive option in free agency.
Kendrick earned $4 million this past season and could hover around the same price tag despite his fantastic statistical year. His age is undoubtedly a factor, but 14 years of experience prove his worth.
If the Yankees want to bring in an established player that can help rally the troops, Kendrick could be their man. I imagine they will also keep Voit on the roster, especially after the departure of Edwin Encarnacion.
Kendrick isnâ€™t a bonafide power hitter, but he makes solid contact and gets on base frequently. Also, his defensive abilities are stellar. Over 48 games for the Nationals, he only committed one error with a .997 fielding percentage at first base.
Inserting him into the starting lineup and keeping Voit as a reserve option is not a bad idea. I imagine general manager Brian Cashman will be observing all opportunities this off-season.