Yankees Aaron Hicks says he’s ready to return; who’s odd man out?
Whose left out?
The choice then comes down to Wade, Maybin or Voit.
It can’t realistically be Wade. He’s too valuable due to his ability to field so many positions, in addition to his prowess as a pinch-runner. Add in the fact that if Wade isn’t on the roster, the Yankees don’t have a true reserve infielder.
Sure, D.J. LeMahieu can play second base, third base and first base — and Gleyber Torres (who the Yankees should lock up during the offseason) can play shortstop and second. However, the optimal lineup has them where they were during the ALDS. In that case, the “backup Infielders” were Wade, along with Edwin Encarnacion and Luke Voit. The latter two only play first base. The Yanks need a backup Infielder, and that guy is Wade.
Maybin has exceeded expectations for the Yanks in every way this year, but he’s one of only two logical solutions. Dropping Maybin would arguably be the simplest and most seamless answer from a positional standpoint. Drop one outfielder and gain another. It seems like an easy one-for-one trade.
However, Maybin has been an extremely valuable veteran presence in the clubhouse for the Bombers. He won a ring with the Houston Astros in 2017 and has been reliable from a production standpoint. In 82 games, Maybin set career-highs in home runs (11), slugging (.494) and OPS (.858). Also, he’s been reliable in the field, only committing two errors in 125 chances.
Voit is the other logical solution. Despite his solid overall numbers for the Yankees and presence as an emotional leader, Voit really struggled down the stretch. He also adds very little from a base-running and defensive perspective.
However, when right, Voit can be a significant force in the lineup. When the Yankees dealt with early-season injuries, he often helped to carry the offensive load. In 115 starts on the season, Voit batted second, third or cleanup 90 times. If he doesn’t make the ALCS roster, it won’t have been an easy decision for the Yanks.