Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Call Me Crazy, But How About Sonny Gray (Plus, Plus, Plus) for Joey Votto

Call me crazy, but since money is “no object” anymore wouldn’t it make sense for the New York Yankees to make a run at first baseman Joey Votto? I don’t mean to downplay the money, it’s a ton of money and Brian Cashman and company have already said they aren’t going to blow up the payroll, but they also said they would spend what they had to in order to win. Getting Votto makes the Yankees not only better, but absolutely dangerous in an unfair kind of way. The Reds presumably would be willing to pay down some of that contract, or take lesser prospects if the Yankees ate the entire contract, so it only makes sense with a potential Sonny Gray trade looming between these two clubs.

Let’s be frank, this would be a huge undertaking for the New York Yankees if a trade were to happen. Votto is signed through the 2023 season with a team option for the 2024 season worth roughly $132 million. Now, some may say this is crazy because the Yankees have cheaper options in Luke Voit and Greg Bird, but I would beg to argue that point. Voit was a 27-year old (basically) career minor league player for a reason. The Yankees took advantage of a hot streak and rode him into the postseason, nothing more. There is nothing that says that Voit will be anything more or anything less than the next Shane Spencer for the club. Prove me wrong, I would thoroughly enjoy seeing it… but I don’t think that he will. Adding a proven veteran left-handed bat to a young and heavy right-handed lineup just makes sense for New York, and it would cost them a lot less than signing Bryce Harper for 10-years and $300 million+ just to learn the position. It’s simple math really, 5-years and $125 million for Votto with a $20 million team option for a sixth season or a $7 million buyout, or a 10-year mega-contract for Bryce Harper.

Now, I fully realize that Bryce Harper is 26-years old, while Votto is 36-years old near the end of the 2019 season, but Votto is still incredibly productive and would be moving to a league where he could eventually play more and more designated hitter. Votto hits for power from the left side, he hits with runners in scoring position, he hits for average, hell the guy probably gets out of bed in the morning and hits something. He just hits.

Would the deal be risky? Sure, having someone signed through their “decline” years is always risky, but this is a win-now team, and this is a win-now move. This deal would not hamstring the Yankees, but of course it would come with some sort of risk and fallout if Father Time were to catch up to Votto soon. If the Yankees could swing a deal including Sonny Gray, obviously not straight up… but as a part of a package, I think you have to do it and worry about his age 38-41 seasons then, not now.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)