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A creative trade to bolster the Yankees’ rotation

Would the Yankees trade Luke Voit if he brought back a controllable starter?

Texas Rangers v New York Yankees Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

The Yankees received good news on Miguel Andujar’s rehab this week, as the third baseman will begin throwing sessions on Monday. “It’s stronger now,” Andujar told Mollie Walker when asked about his shoulder. “Just definitely feels better than how it felt before. Very happy with the work we’ve been doing. It’s showed progression and I’m happy with it.” His return presents a wide range of options for the Yankees, the likes of which many teams would love to have. The problem, however, is that once he returns, the team will have trouble finding playing time for everyone in that talented infield.

Perhaps the Yankees could solve one problem with another this offseason by trading an extra infielder for a badly-needed starting pitcher. The question is, who should get moved in this hypothetical? Keeping Andujar seems smart as his value needs time to rebound. If he does bounce back healthy,

After an MVP caliber season there’s little chance the Yankees will part with DJ LeMahieu. Didi Gregorius is a free agent this offseason, and if the Yankees choose to let him walk, Gleyber Torres will inevitably take over. Gio Urshela could be a trade piece, but the Yankees may want to hang on to him in case Andujar’s rehab hits a roadblock. That leaves first baseman Luke Voit as a prime trade target.

Voit has been nothing short of phenomenal for the Yankees, hitting .274/.387/.479 with 19 home runs and a 131 wRC+. The team hasn’t seen that kind of production at first base since the Mark Teixeira days. That said, trading Voit wouldn’t leave a hole at first because LeMahieu or Andujar to play the position, keeping a superior defender in Urshela at the hot corner. Plenty of teams could use a 28-year-old first baseman, who prior to injury was in position to hit 25 home runs and collect 80 RBI. Voit may just become the odd man out due to his lack of versatility.

Brian Cashman has continuously demonstrated the canny ability to get the most out of hitters once they suit up in pinstripes. Now that he has a surplus of such batters, it only makes sense to make room by trading one for a need. The Yankees highly value Voit, but if it means taking one step backwards to take two steps forward, they have to do it. Just think about the starting pitching situation heading into 2020.

Gerrit Cole, Madison Bumgarner, Zack Wheeler, Dallas Keuchel and Hyun-Jin Ryu will all be available this offseason via free agency. There’s no doubt that meetings will take place with some of the top arms in the league. As usual, the Yankees will do their due diligence and have dialogue with all available starting pitchers. That said, last winter showed that the team will act only if the asking prices fall in line with the Bombers’ evaluations.

Should the Yankees spend conservatively this offseason, they have the luxury of using what they have in surplus position players to satisfy a major need. They could add one of the frontline starters on the open market, or they could dangle Voit in trade talks for a controllable starter. Maybe they can even do both!

Again, this is all hypothetical. If the Yankees decide to acquire two starting pitchers via free agency, then there’s no need to move Voit. If the asking price for starting pitching Is fairly high, then the Yankees could look to use Voit as a trade piece. There’s nothing wrong with exploring all options.