Yankees-Pirates trade rumors would be weird news for Luke Voit
By Adam Weinrib
The Yankees and Pirates are reportedly talking Jameson Taillon and Josh Bell.
The Yankees have been no stranger to trade rumors so far this offseas– wait, what am I saying? For the first time in a long time, they’ve been complete strangers to trade rumors.
In fact, outside of the DJ LeMahieu buzz, they’ve been so far removed from trade conversations that Yankees fans have started concocting their own blockbusters just so they can argue against them.
Hey, why would you trade Luke Voit and Gleyber Torres?! I don’t know, man. You invented that. You’re angry at your own brain.
On Wednesday, though, we finally got a whiff of trade talks and, on the surface, they don’t appear to be great news for Voit’s now-confused future.
Per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey, the Yankees and Pirates have reportedly had conversations about both rehabbing fireballer Jameson Taillon and 2019 All-Star first baseman Josh Bell. The first one would be a wonderful forgotten fit. The second would signal the development of something confusing, unless Bell’s willing to fill the Mike Ford role.
Bell hasn’t performed well since the first half of the 2019 season, which earned the slugging first baseman his first All-Star appearance. When the dust settled, he hit 37 homers with a .277 average and .367 OBP, strong and patient numbers from a coming-of-age slugger. His 2020 sample was underwhelming, though, and besides, at his best? He’s a partial Luke Voit.
If Bell’s name becomes the focal point here, that likely means Voit would be involved in a potentially much larger trade.
Taillon, on the other hand, makes perfect sense regardless of the team’s other moves, though it would be kind of funky to reunite the 2017 Pirates rotation and call it a day, on the surface. Once among the game’s top prospects, the burly righty had a breakout 2018 season (14-10, 3.20 ERA, 179 Ks in 191 innings pitched) sullied by Tommy John surgery early the next year.
In terms of off-the-radar trade targets who could fill the back end, he’s a great one.
We’re glad this leaked out, because it’s forced us to reckon with plenty of things — namely, under which rock did the Yankees intend to find rotation help this year, and what’s the future for Luke Voit if it’s not at first base next year?
On the oft chance Bell’s name somehow gains traction, a monumental Voit deal must be on the horizon, too.