The New York Yankees traded former AL home run leader Luke Voit to the San Diego Padres on Friday afternoon.
Voit’s future was determined the minute the Yankees signed Anthony Rizzo in free agency, thus pushing the 2020 AL home run leader out of his natural position. Voit finished that campaign with 22 home runs, but missed more than half of last season due to injury.
Rizzo brings more defensive prowess and less injury liability, making him the far more dependable option at this stage. There’s a reason the Yankees were actively shopping for first basemen in free agency — with Rizzo, Freddie Freeman and even trade target Matt Olson at the top of their list.
Luke Voit trade details
The Yankees traded Voit to the San Diego Padres, where he’ll either be employed as the starting first baseman post-Eric Hosmer deal, or as a DH. In return, New York received Justin Lange, a top-10 prospect in the Padres system despite a down year in 2021.
Justin Lange: Who is he?
Lange is a former supplemental draft pick of the Padres. He’s the No. 8-ranked prospect in San Diego’s system, per MLB Pipeline.
Yanks Go Yard’s Adam Weinrib offered more insight on what to expect from Lange moving forward:
"“Lange’s 2021 season went nine starts after the lost 2020. Unfortunately, he only piled up 22 innings, whiffing 29 with an elevated 1.50 WHIP and 6.95 ERA. The potential remains, though, in someone who MLB Pipeline just named the No. 8 Pads prospect. Allow this to be your final reminder that, when available, Voit has done nothing but rake.”"
When healthy, Voit can be a key contributor to any lineup, and this could end up being a real steal for the Padres if they employ him correctly. But the Yankees didn’t really have an open spot for him after signing Rizzo.
Padres top prospects
The loss of Lange shouldn’t have a tremendous impact on the Pads’ system. Sure, he was a top-10 prospect, but coming off a down year with some control issues, Lange still has plenty to prove in the Yankees’ ranks.
New York is convinced they can fix him.
Luke Voit contract
Voit is under contract until the 2025 offseason, with two years of arbitration after 2022 should he not sign a contract extension before then.