Luke Voit's days with the New York Yankees were numbered once the club re-signed Anthony Rizzo, and now he's heading to the West Coast. The Yankees have traded Voit to the San Diego Padres for pitching prospect Justin Lange, the team announced Friday. Voit was slated to start at first base in Friday afternoon's spring training opener.
Last season Voit, 31, hit .239/.328/.437 with 11 home runs in 68 games around a series of knee injuries. The Yankees stopped waiting for him to get healthy and added Rizzo at the trade deadline, and Voit was a bench bat and spot starter the rest of the season. Voit authored a .268/.366/.513 line from 2019-20, and led baseball with 22 home runs during the 60-game 2020 season.
For the Padres, Voit helps replace the offense the team lost when Fernando Tatis Jr. underwent wrist surgery. He will presumably slot into the DH spot with Wil Myers moving to right field and Jurickson Profar assuming a super utility role. Manager Bob Melvin's regular lineup figures to look something like this while Tatis is sidelined:
- CF Trent Grisham
- 3B Manny Machado
- 2B Jake Cronenworth
- DH Luke Voit
- 1B Eric Hosmer
- RF Wil Myers
- C Austin Nola
- LF Jurickson Profar
- SS Ha-Seong Kim
Lange, 20, allowed 17 runs in 22 Single-A innings around knee trouble last season. San Diego selected him with the No. 34 pick in the 2020 draft and paid him a $2 million bonus. Baseball America ranked Lange as the No. 16 prospect in the Padres system prior to the trade, calling him "a lottery ticket with a wide range of potential outcomes."
The Yankees went 92-70 and lost the AL Wild Card Game last season. In addition to Rizzo, they brought in Josh Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa with the Twins. San Diego has a disaster 79-83 season a year ago, and much of their offseason has focused on adding pitching. Voit is their first notable lineup addition.