The New York Yankees have much to do to improve a team that has missed out on a World Series appearance for many years now. All tried, and true Yankee fans automatically become know-it-alls in curing the team’s ills. Baseball writers and even some team members express their views on solving the team’s problems. I am no different. However, I am not only a baseball writer but a Yankee life long fan as well.
From the end of the World Series and up until spring training, many names and players will be thrown around as leaving, staying, being traded, or whatever. The New York Yankees need pitching, possibly a shortstop and a starting catcher. Some of those will not come cheap, and others will be traded for. Already this early in the offseason, Clint Frazier, Gio Urshela, Miguel Andujar, and Luke Voit has been frequently mentioned to get players to fill the Yankee’s need.
Luke Voit has spoken out on the YES Network last night and expressed his views on whether he will be traded or not. He says he pays little attention to the chatter, although admitting his family and friends do.
“It is part of it, and everyone’s name is going to be thrown around,’’ Voit said. “Everyone is a GM, and everyone wants to talk baseball somehow and make the perfect trade. You don’t know what is going to happen.’’
“Obviously, I want to be a Yankee,’’ said Voit, who will be 30 in February and led the majors with 22 homers in the 60-game schedule that ended for the Yankees with a Game 5 loss to the Rays in the ALDS. In addition to the 22 homers, Voit drove in 52 runs in 56 games and posted a .948 OPS. “Everyone has their names thrown around, but you don’t know if it happens.’’
Although there is no guarantee that the New York Yankee front office won’t use Voit in a trade, for instance, to get a premium pitcher or a Francisco Lindor type shortstop, you can be sure that move would be their last choice. The 29-year-old Voit was selected in 2013 by the St. Louis Cardinals. After a stint in the minors, he played for the Cards in the majors from 2017 to 2018. At the end of July 2018, Voit was traded to the New York Yankee for Chasen Shreves and Gio Gallegos. He has done nothing but become a solid Yankee since then. Voit had a .277 batting average last season with a .948 OPS.
Every year with the Yankees, he has increased in his power-hitting, hitting a league-leading 22 home runs for the Yankees this past season. He has solidified his 3-6 spot in the lineup, even with Clint Frazier joining the permanent lineup. He is not the best defender at first base, but he is adequate. It seems to me if the Yankees re-sign DJ LeMahieu, which is a priority for the Yankees, and they place DJ back at second base, there is no way the Yankees will trade away Voit. However, if they get a shortstop and move Cleyber Torres at second. That move will make Voit’s future with the Yankees more in question as they will undoubtedly put DJ, the better defender, at first base.
With Luke Voit’s 22 home runs, that equates to 60 home runs in a normal 162 game season. That is just one run short of Roger Maris’s baseball-leading 61 home run record from 1961. Since then, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sousa broke that record in 1998, and Barry Bonds broke their record with 73 long balls in 2011, a record that still stands. To be in discussion with those names and with that type of home run power, the Yankees will think very seriously before dealing that type of talent away. Below is 22 reasons the Yankees should not let Voit go.
EmpireSportMedia.com’s Columnist Willaim Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam.