First-baseman/designated hitter Luke Voit has pushed back the opt-out date on his minor league deal with the Brewers until Friday, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports. Voit told reporters he likes the fit with Milwaukee, and that the team likes him, but they are trying to maintain maximum 40-man roster flexibility going into the season.
Voit was one of the more high profile players to settle for minor league deals this winter, and it always appeared he had a decent chance to crack the Brewers’ active roster. That he’s agreed to extend the deadline by a week suggests that’s very much still in play, and it may come down to straight decision between Voit and Keston Hiura as to who makes the roster for Opening Day.
With left-handed hitters Rowdy Tellez and Jesse Winker set to occupy a lot of time at the first-base and DH spots, it makes sense for the team to have a right-hander to balance them out, but it may be a stretch for the team to carry both Voit and Hiura, given they’re both defensively-limited right-handed hitters. Of course, they could, in theory, carry both players, but it may leave the bench a little too limited in versatility.
Voit, 32, hit 22 home runs on the way to a .226/.308/.402 over 568 plate appearances for the Padres and Nationals in 2022. That’s a fair drop from the days of him being one of the better right-handed sluggers around. In the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Voit mashed 22 home runs in 56 games and finished ninth in AL MVP voting. That was part of a stretch from 2018-20 where Voit hit .278/.371/.541, largely for the Yankees. Things dropped off in 2021, as injuries restricted Voit to just 68 games that year, before the Yankees flipped him to the Padres ahead of the 2022 season.
While it’s unwise to glean too much from spring training numbers, Voit has hit .357/.379/.643 with two home runs so far, so is certainly doing everything he can to make an impression with the Brewers.