While many have their focus on the free agent market, some have their eyes on trades. Jim Bowden just recently wrote an article in The Athletic that pitched the idea of the Yankees sending Miguel Andujar, Luke Voit, and minor league pitcher Roansy Contreras to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for All-Star first baseman Josh Bell. He notes that New York could benefit not only from the talent of Bell, but he would also add a switch-hitting bat into a right-handed heavy lineup.
Josh Bell is coming off the best season of his young career. The 27-year-old hit .277/.367/.569 with 116 RBI. His 135 wRC+ was good for 22nd-best in the league, and fourth among first basemen. A 92.3 exit velocity and .556 xSLG were also among the best in baseball. Along with that, he hit 37 doubles and mashed 37 home runs. His contract is attractive too. He has three more years of control as he’s not a free agent until 2022. Plus, he’s slated to make $5.9 million in his first year of arbitration next year, which is a team-friendly paycheck. Adding Bell to an already powerful lineup could make the Yankees an even more dangerous team.
While his bat was nothing short of stellar for the Pirates in 2019, his glove seems to be a work in progress. He has cost his team eleven runs since entering the league four years ago, including five last season. His career RngR is a -6.0 and owns a -8.8 UZR/150. Luke Voit is known for being a below average defender as well, but Bell is even worse. Would Brian Cashman trade three of his players for a bat that is a bit better than that of Voit’s? I think it would be hard to convince him to pull the trigger on Bowden’s trade proposal.
Luke Voit led all qualified Yankees in on-base percentage with .378. Yes, Voit was on-base more often than DJ LeMahieu. With the season that LeMahieu had, that is extremely impressive. He is often overshadowed by the bigger bats on the team, but he is more than capable of holding it down at first base for New York. I understand why Voit would be in the deal, since the Pirates would need a replacement for Bell. However, the deal is not worth surrendering both Andujar and Contreras for a modest upgrade at first.
Miguel Andujar was the runner-up Rookie of the Year two seasons ago, and owns the Yankees rookie record for most doubles in a season. He may not have much trade value right now, but he still has the potential to be a franchise player. Packaging him for a first baseman is probably not what Cashman is looking to do.
The third player mentioned by Bowden is 20-year-old Roansy Contreras. He is currently a starting pitcher in Low-A Charleston for the RiverDogs. He was signed as one of the top prospects on the international market and is ranked as the Yankees’ 12th-best prospect.
Cashman could be willing to include Contreras in a trade, and if it were just him and Voit for Bell, it may have a better chance of happening. Adding Andujar in there as well seems to make the trade too much of an overpay for the Yankees.
Would you make this trade? Let us know in the comments.