Twins made the right decision passing on free agent deal for Luke Voit
Among the many things Minnesota Twins fans will be keeping an eye on in Spring Training is the health of first baseman Alex Kirilloff. All signs seem to point toward Kiriloff being on track to start the season on the active roster, but the strength of his wrist is going to be of great interest over hte next month.
Kiriloff is coming back from wrist surgery that ended his season early last year, and has caused some concern throughout the recovery process. Krilioff has been blunt -- perhaps too much so -- about where he's at in that process, which has been compounded by the Twins losing Luis Arraez after trading him to the Miami Marlins back in January.
Without Arraez to support Kiriloff at first, the need for him to begin the season healthy and strong is much greater than it was before. That need for support has sparked rumors that the Twins might look to the free agent market to add some depth.
Luke Voit was one of the potential options, but he can officially be crossed off the list.
Voit and the Milwaukee Brewers agreed to a minor-league deal that contained an invite to Spring Training. It was a low-end deal the Twins very much could have contended with but chose not to, and it seems like the right call was made.
There was some upside to Minnesota looking into Voit. He's only a few seasons removed from a huge season with the New York Yankees in which he hit a career-high 22 home runs and came in ninth-place for MVP. He only played in 56 games, yet made a big impact on the Yankees lineup and seemed like a guy that might slot into their everyday lineup in the years to come.
Instead, he flamed out and bounced around between the Padres and Nationals before signing with the Brewers this offseason.
He's a burly slugger, though, with the ability to potentially be a home run threat in the right situation.
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The downside, though, seems to outweigh any of the potential positives Voit might have added to the Twins lineup. While it's possible he could have been a 30 home run slugger, he's almost unplayable against lefties and would present a pretty sizable disadvantage in those situations -- most of which could come late in games against relievers.
Voit is also below-average defensively, posting a fielding percentage lower than the league average every season of his carer except for one which was back in 2017. Even in his MVP-esque season in 2021 with the Yankees he had a fielding percentage of .991 against a league average .993.
His last two seasons in the field have been particularly awful, posting a .969 fielding percentage with the Padres against a league average of .994. That slightly improved once he joined the Nationals but he had a greater impact with Washington as a DH than he did rotating in at first (his fielding percentage rose to .989, for what it's worth).
All of that is to say Voit would come to Minnesota and provide upside as a slugger but might be a liability as part of a platoon at first base with Kirilloff. Even then, the Twins would be betting on him returning to where he was in 2020, which is a tough sell considering how risky that bet would be.