When Major League Baseball and the Players Association finally come to an agreement, the Yankees will have to get to work. With all the moves the Yankees have been making the past few seasons, it doesn’t seem to be working. With the 2022 MLB season creeping up on us, Yankee fans want a change of culture that results in a World Series appearance for the first time since 2009. Most Yankee fans decided that they need new blood in the line-up to make that change. I’ve heard everything from acquiring a solid shortstop, an upgraded catcher, a fourth outfielder, you name it. But today I want to focus on first base. Luke Voit’s injury last year resulted in the acquisition of Anthony Rizzo at the trade deadline. This caused the Yankees to have two solid first basemen by playoff time.
Now, Anthony Rizzo is a free agent and Luke Voit is locked up until 2025. This is debated whether or not to re-sign Rizzo and whether Luke Voit is a viable first baseman for the future. With all the other worries the Yankees have, I think it is a no-brainer to let Rizzo go and keep the low-priced Luke Voit. Re-signing Anthony Rizzo would put the Yankees in the hole close to twenty million for at least the next four years. Voit’s salary is ¼ of that. Everyone forgets about the healthy 2020 Luke Voit had, when he led all of Major League Baseball with 22 home runs. The fire and work ethic Luke Voit brings to the Yankees is unmatched. For a player making five milion dollars a year, Luke Voit is a steal and the Yankees should hold onto that as logn as possible. He definitely has potential to be an above average first baseman for the foreseeable future.
Production and salary aren't the only things the Yankees should consider when making the first baseman decision. If first base was the Yankees biggest problem, they would be happy. Middle infield is the most complicated aspect of the Yankees right now. With free agents like Carlos Correa and Trevor Story still available, the Yankees shouldn’t be spending too much money at first base. Shortstop should be their main priority and give star prospects like Anthony Volpe a couple years to develop in the minors. Even signing a solid shortstop to a short contract would be smart because it sets up Volpe as the future shortstop. They can use that money for an upgraded catcher. Also, this goes without saying, but give Aaron Judge an extension.
When MLB finally ends the lockout, the Yankees have a lot of work to do to have a successful 2022. This starts by making smart decisions with their money. Luke Voit is a valuable player to the Yankees roster and should be their starting first baseman in 2022.