It didn’t take long for the Yankees to answer my question from yesterday. The Yankees announced that they have traded Luke Voit to the Padres in exchange for pitching prospect Justin Lange.
Voit mashed in four seasons with the Yankees, posting a .271/.363/.520 (137 OPS+) batting line. He led the AL in homers in 2020 when he also finished 9th in MVP voting. Pretty impressive for a guy who was a Quad-A slugger for St. Louis before the Yankees acquired him mid-2018. Voit represented one of many under the radar finds that the front office made in 2018 and 2019, and also became a fan favorite.
Unfortunately, Voit became the odd man out after injuries and the Anthony Rizzo trade last summer, though it took until now for the trade rumors and speculation to come to fruition. He’ll be San Diego’s primary designated hitter, while also taking some time at first base from Eric Hosmer.
Lange, the return in the deal, is a six-foot-four right handed pitcher who was the 34th overall selection in the 2020 draft. He was a high school draftee out of Texas and had a difficult professional debut in rookie ball last year. In nine starts (22 innings), Lange struck out 29, walked 15 (eek), and had a 6.95 ERA. Apparently, he had some knee issues that limited him.
Lange was a top ten prospect in San Diego’s system, but it’s also not a particularly deep farm. After throwing in the mid-to-high 90s as a draft prospect, his velocity dipped in 2021, perhaps as a result of the knee problems. Figure to see Lange back in rookie ball to start this season, as long as he’s healthy. Sounds like a project to get his velo back up for the Yankees player development, too.