Some of you are mad at me on the title alone. Seriously, go look at our Facebook page and there are probably a ton of comments about how I’m a moron by people who didn’t even read the article. If you’ve made it this far, you’re better than them.
Before we fully dive in, I just want to make clear that I do not think the Yankees should pay Joey Votto $25mil/yr over the next 2 years. At the same time, the Reds are selling every decent player they have to cut costs and they may be looking to give their star player a real chance at a ring before he retires. That is why I think that the right package of prospects could get Votto for half-off.
You may be thinking, “The Reds are cheap so there is no way they eat any salary.” But at the same time, no one is paying prospects AND $25mil/yr for a 37-year-old first baseman, no matter how good he is. So for the right group of prospects that the Reds think they can develop and eventually sell because they won’t ever stay competitive, I think you can convince Cincinnati to split the Votto contract.
Paying $12.5mil dollars and getting prospects to eventually try and flip is a better option than paying $25mil to a disgruntled face of your franchise. Plus, you’re saving $12.5mil because you’re a cheap asshole who shouldn’t own a team.
Now that I’ve established the move is possible, let’s talk about why Votto is a fit.
The Yankees need flexibility– We have a ton of money coming off the books this offseason and with Votto at first base, for a discount, we would have a ton more money coming off the books when his and Donaldson’s contracts expire. The reason we can’t just go out and get Correa is because we already have too many long term deal that tie our hands and keep down our prospects from getting a real chance within the organization.
Votto is better than Voit– Assume Voit is in the deal we send back to the Reds. We would have just upgraded massively at first base on both the offensive and defensive side. Voit is a huge liability in the field and while he can be a power hitter, we can’t rely on him staying healthy and not being streaky when he is healthy. It’s time to move on from Voit while not committing us for the next 6 years at a high price tag. Partly because I could see Judge at first in the future to save his body.
Votto stays healthy– Last year Votto missed a month with a broken thumb and a few games down the stretch with a sore knee but overall he has stayed on the field during his career. With the injuries the Yankees have dealt with the last few years, it would be nice to have some stability in the lineup.
Votto breaks up the lineup– Remember how much better our lineup looked with Rizzo in there as a lefty? We have been so righty heavy that it’s easy to get through our lineup even with all the fire power we have. Slotting Votto as a left between Judge and Stanton would break up the righties and provide a ton of protection for each other.
Votto would hit 40 Home Runs– Last year, Votto hit 36 home runs in 129 games in a bigger home ballpark. With the short porch in right field and Stanton behind him in the lineup, it is easy to see Votto mashing over 40 with no problem. Just look at his spray chart from last year and I can pick out at least 8 additional home runs.
Votto is motivated– We’re at the tail end of a great career and Votto only has 41 career postseason at bats. He could double that in one year alone in pinstripes. Discipline has been a huge issue for this team but adding another veteran, that can actually play (sorry Gardy) would help shape the clubhouse. Having a pissed off Donaldson and a pissed off Votto both chasing rings could get us there, while allow us to untangle the mess that is our roster going forward.
Our roster is in bad shape because of big bullpen contracts and extensions that haven’t worked out. One big long term signing like Correa or Freeman doesn’t change that situation, but getting Votto ONLY AT A DISCOUNT, would improve this roster to make us more complete, give the Yankees flexibility in the future, make extending Judge easier and give us another player that actually gives a shit. Because we’ve been missing that last one for a few years.
We discussed other moves the Yankees should make on this week’s George’s Box Podcast and react to the Donaldson trade. Go check it out here.