The Brewers have agreed to a minor league contract with free agent first baseman/designated hitter Luke Voit, reports Adam McCalvy of MLB.com (Twitter link). Voit, a client of Excel Sports, will be in big league camp as a non-roster invitee.
For two-plus seasons, Voit was an absolute powerhouse in the middle of the Yankees’ lineup, batting a combined .279/.372/.543 with 57 home runs, 31 doubles and an 11.5% walk rate (albeit against a more troublesome 26.3% strikeout rate). That production came over the life of 892 plate appearances and included an MLB-best 22 home runs during the shortened 2020 campaign.
The past two years, however, have been nightmarish for the slugger — in no small part due to health troubles. Voit began the 2021 campaign on the injured last after suffering a torn meniscus in his left knee during spring training. That injury required surgery and kept him out of action into mid-May, but his return proved short lived. Just two weeks after returning to the field, Voit sustained a Grade 2 oblique strain.
While even Grade 1 oblique strains can often lead to month-long absences, Voit was still back on the field less than one month later. This return from the IL, in similar fashion, was brief in nature. Three weeks after being activated, Voit was back on the shelf due to inflammation and discomfort in his surgically repaired left knee. The Yankees shopped and nearly traded Voit at the 2021 trade deadline, but he was back on the active roster from Aug. 8 until Sept. 30 — when pain in that left knee again sent him to the injured list, formally ending his season. He closed out that year with a career-worst .226/.308/.402 batting line.
The Yankees traded Voit to the Padres just before Opening Day 2022, receiving righty Justin Lange in the swap. Voit hit .225/.317/.416 in 344 plate appearances with the Padres before being traded to the Nationals in the Juan Soto blockbuster. With Washington, Voit’s production took a step back, evidenced by a .228/.295/.381 slash in his two months down the stretch. Washington non-tendered him following the season, preferring not to offer him a raise on last year’s $5.45MM salary.
With the Brewers, Voit will look to get back on track in a more hitter-friendly setting than he played in during the 2022 season — if, of course, he makes the club. The Brewers already have Rowdy Tellez at first base, and outfielder Jesse Winker could be in line for DH reps, depending on how the rest of the outfield mix plays out. Christian Yelich is entrenched in left field (and in search of his own rebound), while center field and right field currently look as though they’ll be manned by Garrett Mitchell and Tyrone Taylor.
On the surface, Voit’s right-handed bat looks like a natural pairing for either Tellez or Winker in a platoon capacity, but that’s not necessarily the case. In his career, Voit’s production against left-handed opponents (.236/.329/.439) is inferior to his production against righties (.262/.347/.491). He’d still be an upgrade over either Tellez or Winker against southpaws, but using him primarily against lefties wouldn’t necessarily maximize his skill set.
For Voit to find success in Milwaukee, he’ll first and foremost need to pare back a strikeout rate that has spiraled in the wrong direction since that injury-ruined 2021 season. Over the past two seasons, Voit has fanned in 31.3% of his plate appearances — a far cry from the 26.3% clip at which he punched out during his Yankees peak and an even farther cry from his career-best 23.1% during that standout 2020 campaign. Voit still makes hard contact at a very strong clip (44.6% over the past two seasons, per Statcast) and barrels the ball at an elite rate (15%) — but that ability for loud contact has been undercut by his uptick in whiffing altogether.
If Voit makes the club and is able to return to form, he’d be a multi-year option for the Brewers, as he’s just shy of five years of Major League service time. As such, he’d be controllable one more year via arbitration. That’s putting the cart before the horse, but it’s a nice potential longer-term benefit if he can engineer a rebound with the Brew Crew.
Rowdy Tellez better watch his back
This signing tellez us a lot of what brewers think of rowdy.
Wishing Voit a good round of health. He is a first class guy and deserves much success. We are all rooting for you buddy.
He seems to have a real good sense of humor and really does play a good baseball ambassador both on and off the field.
It is a shame that Eric Hosmer refused to go in the Juan Soto deal. Voit was so much more likeable than Hosmer and Josh Bell.
Josh Bell is a great guy. As a Nat he was personable in interviews and even did a kids’ book club. He quickly became a fan favorite in DC. I would have loved to see him return to the Nats.
Josh Bell is all class. With the inevitable departure of Brandon Belt, I was really hoping the Giants would sign him.
He’ll make the team. Good pickup.
Voit’s positive energy was contagious like covid
Surprised Voit had to take a minor league deal. Hope he does well for the Brewers.
In that stadium, a check swing of his could end up leaving the park … if he makes contact
Over the last 4 seasons the Brewers have hit 370 HR at home and 368 HR on the road. I don’t think many check-swing HR were hit in any of the parks.
Minor league deals with Spring Training invites at this stage are mostly major league deals. It allows them time to deal with their 40-man roster.
The issue, though, is that a player on a minor league deal can’t replace a player moved to the 60-day until March 15th. A player signed directly to a major league deal could replace a player on the 60-day immediately.
You don’t need to replace a player placed on the IL before opening day as players don’t have to be on the 40-man to play in Spring Training games.
I think he is referring to him signing a major league deal vs minor league as you need a 40 man spot if you sign a major league deal. If they are on a minor league deal with a spring invite You can see them and keep your non-optionable players until roster cutdowns and 60 day IL
Surprised a team like Oakland didn’t take a chance on him to try and flip later.
Hope he gets a chance to show his stuff but that team has a lot of bodies and only so many MLB spots. at the very least, at least he may be able to showcase himself for someone.
1B/DH types are worth zippo in trade, unless they’re Freddie Freeman or something. There are SO many of them around, and any poor defending 3B or corner OF is a candidate for learning the job as well. There’s just no demand.
while I agree generally, Voits bat is better than most corner 3B guys you’d try and convert.
using Oakland again, I’m guessing most would rather have Voit over Aguilar.
Seam: …and yet there are those who argue that 1 to 2 tool player Big Papi deserve HOF. A disgrace.
There’s nothing wrong with that when he’s as spectacular at those two tools as Ortiz was.
@moneyball, Oakland coliseum would be a terrible place for him to try to rebound his value though. Pitcher friendly park home games didn’t do him much good last year in San Diego, so it’s possible Oakland May have made some contact but he may have just opted to take a chance elsewhere for a better rebound.
But not against the Pirates…
Baden, Wilson, Tachikara would have all been better options, but I guess the Brewers will roll with Voit.
Brewers like shopping at garage sales for players.
How the mighty have fallen
2020 HR Champ! Bask in that cute season championship, Doyers.
Better wRC+ than Correa since 2018 can’t believe the disrespect to him
He’s usually hurt.
Stop framing stats to show the best of players and then the disrespect becomes sensible baseball maneuvering.
I’m just showing he’s been a good hitter when healthy. Correa nearly got 350 million so Luke would at least seem worthy of a major league deal then.
Maybe his 107 ops+ over his last 800 PA’s has something to do with it. Nobody needs that at DH.
He’s an oft injured weak side platoon DH with a bad clubhouse reputation. Every team in the league’s got 2 or 3 better options.
Does he have a bad clubhouse rep?? I didn’t know that. What did he do to deserve that?
Sounds a lot like Trey Mancini
Brewer’s DH last year was McCutchen and his sub-100 wRC+ (@$8mm), so yes this guy is an upgrade.
Oft-injured, yes, platoon bat, maybe, but who says he’s only a DH? He’s perfectly capable of taking playing time at 1B away from Tellez.
Isn’t framing stats to show the best or worst of a player called an arbitration hearing?
….as a DH/1B, though.
Voit – games played: 368 reg season (12 postseason)
As DH: 155 reg season games
Correa – games played: 527 reg season (55 postseason)
As DH: 5 reg season games
The difference in reg season games, along, is 159 games played — or almost 1 full year. Not including you’re discounting Correa’s defensive impact (platinum glove winner) — or postseason lauds.
Your comparing a DH to a SS…..1 with multiple gold gloves and all star appearances the other with 0 and 0 literally only had 1 note worthy season which was glorified extended spring training.
126 to 125
The difference is Correa has done it over 2240 PAs playing above average shortstop defense. Voit only has 1714 PAs over that period as a 1B/DH.
Correa is 28 years old. Voit is 32.
Consider the past two seasons since they’re a better indicator of current skill level
But Voit is taller.
I am surprised by the minor league deal for him. Last year he hit .250 with 20 dongs against right handers in less than 400 plate appearances. One of those reverse platoon guys; he is HORRID against lefties, oddly.
Prone to missing the slider down and in from what I’ve observed.
Think that’s why Twins passed on the idea of him platooning as the rightie first baseman to spell Kirilloff.
Always liked Voit. Eye seemed good, as he would draw walks a lot. The spike in his Ks may be related to compensation in his mechanics while fighting injuries. Hopefully he has a smart hitting coach to work with him – and competent doctors too.
Looks like he is controllable through arbitration through the ’24 season.
I hope Voit can make a real come back and get called up, hit for average, hit for 20+ HR power and provide just enough defensive plus- or at least not negatives to the point of being worthless despite his bat- that he can get a major league deal or a multi-year deal next year.
I feel like his statistics have often been inflated.
He’s a 124 career OPS+ or whatever, so he’s decent offensively. But his 2020 was the main staple of that career, so I agree with you. I don’t take 2020 stats into account (for individual statistical assessments) because of the sample size.
Remember when the Cardinals front office was roasted for trading Voit for Chasen Shreve and Giovanni Gallegos? Not looking so bad now in hindsight, with Gallegos having a sub 3.00 ERA since arriving in St. Louis and occasionally serving as a closer.
What a joke! Typical Counsell/Arnold/Stearns Brewer signing. Another slow-afoot, rural softball team type added to the roster. Yet, the Brewers want $290 million from the state taxpayers for this team that looks more like it represents Marshfield than Milwaukee. What other non-MLB city would continue to support and put two million plus butts in the seats year after year with mediocre teams?
Counsell and Greg Gard (& Chryst) are perfect examples of what’s wrong with some of the sports teams in Wisconsin. Do just enough to produce a winning record without irritating the rural WI population.
Just curious what the 290 million is for.
It’s for upkeep on AmFAm Field.
Not to let facts get in the way of your moron fantasy world, Spikey, but it was a Republican governor that spent tax payer money on Fiserv. Politicos like other sports. But not disc golf. Nobody that has more than two working brain cells likes disc golf.
minor league guy
*pushes disc golf bag under table* yeah… morons…
They claim repairs and maintenance. Sounds more like graft from a supposedly Liberal governor (ever notice how the ONLY sport politicos tend to like is baseball?).
minor league guy
i thought the deal was the brewers get the money IF they extend their lease through 2043… sports radio was saying that, but i never followed up to see if that were the case
That is the deal. Basically, it’s a one-time payment to replace the funds lost when the five-county tax went away in 2020.
Spike’s an idiot.
That’s one of the doucheyest rants I’ve seen in a while.
minor league guy
whats the risk in this signing? at the very least, it adds depth at 1B, which the organization is mostly devoid of. and as for the taxpayer money, its my understanding that the team did not request this, but moreso that Evers is considering offering that money (leftover from the 2022 surplus) to the brewers for upgrades to AmFam field in exchange for lengthening the teams lease to 2043.
I think it’s a good, low risk signing.
2020 doesn’t matter! Nothing from that season matters. Who gives a flying eff what players did in less then half a season when a true hot streak is 3/4 of the season that year.
Good luck convincing a Dodger fan of that.
Yeah I understand why people would/should think it doesn’t count but I like to try to think of it as “well, there was an extra playoff round that teams had to survive so it is what it is.”
2020 was probably more legit than 2019, for that reason. They ran away with the division, and went 13-5 in the playoffs. They could’ve suffered an injury had they played 162 games, but that could be said about any team.
The core question is whether or not the chances of SD catching them in 162 games is higher or lower than the chances of them losing a 3-game WC series.
For a team that makes “value signings” this is a solid one. Low risk on his downside but his ceiling is a good overall player / clubhouse guy. Hope he gets back on track. He’s a likeable guy.
Even with the DH, one tool players like Voit are going to have a tough time cracking a MLB roster with teams now opting for versatile players who can play multiple positions. Similar to the goon role in the NHL, the bulky sluggers are disappearing.
Voit has the potential to replace the 30 HR potential the Brewers traded away in Hunter Renfroe. Of all the hitters listed above only Taylor is RH so that definitely works in Voit’s favor
The Mets couldn’t give Voit that at least when they need a power hitting DH
Brewers pick up him and Naquin on minor league deals..great moves..hope they don’t work out though lol. Go Cubs Go!
Cardinals fans agree.
Fiercely powerful cat. During his time in the Bronx he hit some absolute wallops in the Jumbo Lineup with Judge,, Stanton, Sanchez. Won the HR title in ’21. In this Brewers lineup he should absolutely mash. Smart pick up.
Rowdy Tellez is playing in the WBC. Voit can fill in during that period while he’s gone. Though this just confirms the Brewers have no interest in testing waters with Yelich as a 1b yet. Be the perfect time to get him some new position flexibility. Tellez only has 2 years left while Yelich has at least 6 up to 7.
Brewers did the same with signing Singleton. Just playing in Spring Training and minors. A little 2 week spark might bring back a crappy vet RP or lotto ticket RP/SS since there shouldn’t be any space for Voit on the Brewers roster.
What a fun guy to have on a team. Hope he rebounds and gets a nice multi-year contract
It’s no risk, and he’s the type of hitter who can get on a tear.
The Big Yo
I like it. Voits a hood clubhouse guy apparently as well as being a bounce back candidate. Good luck, Luck
i have luke voit’s le baron
Check the tooth marks on the pencil
But it says right here, “interesting trades considered.”
you put that in there
That show was too good.
If you’ve never come across this before, some comedian wrote a script for an episode that would’ve taken place after 9/11. The dude absolutely nailed it in just about every way. It starts with Jerry doing stand-up, of course, and has storylines for the four main characters that would absolutely happen (George gets mistaken for a hero, Kramer has a major grievance over a minor issue, etc.). The whole thing is incredible.
Here’s a link to an article from The AV Club about it: https://www.avclub.com/read-this-a-darkly-comedic-seinfeld-spec-script-set-da-1798250195
(You can find it in PDF and, I believe, Google Docs by googling “Seinfeld 9/11 script,” but it would be understandable to feel safer going to a legitimate website where they have the entire script in the article…)
it was probably bob sacamano who wrote it
Motor City Beach Bum
Could be a sneaky good late signing. Naquin too. Just a matter of getting at bats somewhere.
Good for him. Great dude. I’m sure he will send some shots into the moon over Milwaukee. I’m rooting for him
Pham still wants to fight him
Score one for the Brewers
Poster formerly unknown as . . .
Maybe the power lifting and the one-armed bench presses haven’t been all that good for Luke’s health after all.
That chest hair, though.
Luke is good guy. Quickly became a fan favorite in NY. Was sorry to see him go.
Hope he has one last ride in him.
Amazing how your production decreases when you don’t know what pitch is coming.
Amazing how much of an idiot you are.
You didn’t hear about the Yankee sign stealing? Or are you sticking your fingers in your ears and humming?
The only thing I heard was from your mother on how much of a pinhead you are. And that ain’t my fingers and it ain’t her ears I’m sticking it into.
Oooo… My mom died many many years ago… you might want to wash your fingers.
Anyway… yeah, Carlos Beltran taught the sign stealing gimmicks he learned with the Yankees to the Astros. You probably missed the trash can banging because you were too busy fingering dead people.
That was just the loser of the draw that was forced to say she was your mom. There was a raffle held and the loser got you.
Ahhh… cool story Brah
Just in 2020 Yankee fans considered this guy their first baseman of the future. Shows how delusional Yankees fans are! He probably would have been good for the Yankees last year if he got his fair share of juiced balls like Judge did.
Nice comments, Mr. Bitter or is it Mr. Jealous?
I don’t know if I’d call a wRC+ of 105 over the last 2 years “nightmarish”. More like “disappointing”.
Brewers DH’s had .699 OPS last year. So 105 wRC+ sounds ok to us.
Really saw him going to Tampa Bay
Prince Fielder's Barrelman
Just trade him back to (insert team here), since the fans think he should be traded for Soto (type offers).
We’d only ask half of that. So…. there’s that.
Hope they just plan on using him to DH against left-hand pitching.