The proposed trade idea that is Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar and Roansy Contreras for Josh Bell is a terrible idea for the New York Yankees.
In an article written by Jim Bowden of The Athletic, a proposal surfaced suggesting the New York Yankees should trade for Josh Bell. Bell for Miguel Andujar, Luke Voit and prospect Roansy Contreras is the full deal proposed by the former big league exec.
If new Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Ben Charrington calls Brian Cashman with that proposal, I genuinely hope the latter hangs up the phone.
This trade is bad for a multitude of reasons, but I’ll start with the main reason: Josh Bell is not that much better than Luke Voit.
In fact, Bell might not even be better than Voit. Both are bad defensively. Neither one is going to rank well in any defensive category, so for time’s sake, we will say they are even defensively with maybe a bit of an edge to Bell.
Offensively speaking, Bell had a career year in 2019. His .381 xwOBA ranked in the top 9% of the league. The Pirates All-Star had a career-high exit velocity and that lead to his good results. Bell struggled quite a bit in the second half.
In 55 games after the break, Bell put up a .780 OPS and a 101 wRC+. He walked more and struck out less, but his quality of contact went down. He became a league-average bat with below-average defense at 1B. That’s not exactly a valuable player.
For Voit, 2019 was riddled with injuries. From mid-May on, Luke Voit became a little inconsistent. On Baseball Savant, you can see the Yankees first baseman’s rolling xwOBA throughout the season. It never quite reaches the peak that he had early in the season, and it does have a pretty rough stretch in July. However, he still was getting on base.
The Yankees slugger had an above-average walk rate every month of the season, except August because he played two games. There’s value to a player who even when he is struggling can still get on base. This can be said for both Bell and Voit but Voit is better at it. Bell had a 12-point lower OBP in 2019. Voit also had a higher xwOBA on contact and that means he could be better moving forward.
Bell showcased a 3.0 rWAR/150 in 2019. Voit had a 2.4 rWAR/150 in 2019. Yes, Bell was better in 2019 than Voit. So, if you truly believe Bell is better than Voit, you still shouldn’t make that trade and here’s why.
You’d be buying high on Bell and selling low on Voit and Andujar. As I wrote about in my piece about Andujar, Cashman doesn’t like selling low on anybody, let alone hitters with potential like Andujar and Voit.
Another reason that the Yankees shouldn’t trade Bell for Voit is years of control. Voit won’t be a free agent until 2025 at the earliest. Bell can be a free agent in 2023. Why would an organization give up two years of control for roughly the same player? That doesn’t make much sense.
Throw in a prospect and Andujar? That becomes a legitimately awful trade.