There’s no denying Luke Voit is a fan favorite. But there’s also no doubt the New York Yankees played a role in souring the relationship with their first baseman this past season. As a result, we don’t know where Voit stands with the organization heading into 2022.
He was tendered a contract, but that’s likely because the Yankees didn’t want to lose him for nothing. He still has value. Despite injuries last season, he was the 2020 home run champ. He’s a well above average bat when he’s on the field. He may not be a centerpiece in a blockbuster trade, but he can net something of note.
One potential trade partner we’ve heard multiple times over the past few months is the Milwaukee Brewers, and MLB insider Joel Sherman mentioned them again in his recent column about the Yankees’ offseason plans.
"“For example, if the Yankees wanted to emphasize defense, it would probably not take a ton of prospect capital if they were willing to absorb most or all of the $6.25 million the Athletics owe shortstop Elvis Andrus in 2022 and the $18 million the Brewers owe Lorenzo Cain. The Yankees would have Gio Urshela and Torres to move to shortstop late if they needed to hit for Andrus (who in theory could be part of a bigger Olson trade). Cain would serve as a rotating part of the outfield, plus insurance for Hicks (Milwaukee has had interest in Voit previously).”"
The only problem is we don’t know how recent that “previous interest” was. Milwaukee ended up acquiring first baseman and lefty slugger Rowdy Tellez from the Toronto Blue Jays in July.
Then again, FanSided’s Robert Murray believes there could still be a fit should the Brewers inquire here. So if that’s the case, what would a trade look like?
The Yankees and Brewers could line up on a Luke Voit trade.
Let’s get this out of our systems right now … this will NOT be a straight up trade for Josh Hader or Willy Adames. The only reason we mention that is because those scenarios have been popping up on Yankees Twitter courtesy of some delusional folk. OK, moving on …
That being said, we wouldn’t rule those guys out altogether. The Yankees can spice up the package with MLB talent (Joey Gallo?) or prospects (almost anybody if they’re getting the right players). But it’s more likely the Yankees explore a deal involving Lorenzo Cain (as Sherman mentioned).
A swap for Cain would likely require the Brewers to toss in something else, like a top-15 prospect (Zavier Warren?) or a reliever (Brent Suter?), since Voit is making $5.5 million in 2022 compared to the veteran outfielder’s $18 million salary. Some might scoff at the idea of acquiring Cain, but having a platoon in center field with Hicks and the former World Series champ really isn’t a terrible idea.
If we want a Hader/Adames deal, then, well, that’s where the Yankees will have to sweeten the pot. The trade above is a mere suggestion, but we really doubt Brian Cashman is willing to trade a cost-effective starter when the rotation is as unimpressive as it is (despite the fact it overachieved last year).
How about these two deals?
Yankees Receive RP Josh Hader
Brewers Receive 1B Luke Voit, No. 4 prospect Luis Gil and No. 18 prospect Josh Breaux
Yankees Receive SS Willy Adames
Brewers Receive 1B Luke Voit, SP Domingo German, No. 8 prospect Luis Medina, No. 15 prospect Hayden Wesneski
These are far from perfect, but you can bet Adames will cost at least three players given he’s under club control through 2024, while a Hader package might be a bit lighter given his escalating arbitration salaries through 2023. Additionally, we could see a combo here, with Cain joining either of these packages or, otherwise unlikely, Adames and Hader being offered together.
Pretty annoying how cheap Adames was when he went from Tampa to the Brew Crew, huh?
We wouldn’t put any of this past the Brewers, either, since they’re constantly re-tooling each offseason in ways you wouldn’t expect.