Amid the rumors that the Diamondbacks could deal first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, the Yankees are reportedly not showing significant interest in the six-time All-Star, according to Fancred Sports’ Jon Heyman.
Arizona, Heyman reported on Tuesday, has been willing to listen to offers for players like Goldschmidt and pitcher Zack Greinke, however a rival executive told Heyman he believed a trade of Goldschmidt was “remote.”
The 31-year-old Goldschmidt hit .290 with 33 home runs and 83 RBIs for the Diamondbacks last season. He has hit at least .290 with an OPS of at least .899 in each of the past six seasons with three top-three MVP finishes.
ESPN’s Buster Olney speculated in October that the Yankees would be a great fit for Goldschmidt given his power-hitting abilities and how he could impact an already stacked Yankees lineup, however GM Brian Cashman said the team’s first baseman is already on the roster.
Cashman told NJ Advance Media on Wednesday that Luke Voit is currently the starting first baseman over Greg Bird after Voit’s second half helped spark the Yankees into the playoffs.
“Obviously we had a first baseman that we acquired late in the year that played really well for us. He’s currently manning that position,” Cashman said of Voit, who hit .333 with 14 home runs and 33 RBIs as a Yankee in the second half. “Voit will have a chance to reclaim his spot, or reinforce that that’s his spot. And Bird will have a chance to try to take it from him. We’ll see.”
Voit’s acquisition was more of an afterthought after the Yankees also acquired J.A. Happ and Lance Lynn at the deadline, but his strong second half helped the Yankees once Bird’s slump led to his benching.
The 25-year-old Bird struggled immensely last season, hitting just .199 with 11 home runs and 38 RBIs in 82 games. Cashman said he thought Bird will benefit from having an offseason in which he’s completely healthy and will compete for a roster spot in the spring.
“We’re still willing to give it some opportunity,” Cashman said of Bird. “I know what the talent level is … I still think in his case, the best is potentially yet to come. At least we’ll give it that opportunity because we have flexibility with him.”
Bird missed the 2016 season recovering from shoulder surgery and missed most of the 2017 season with an ankle/foot injury that lingered into 2018 and resulted in him missing the first six weeks of last season.
“I do think Birdie will benefit from the time off and will have a chance to resuscitate and prove himself,” Cashman said.
Free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper has indicated, via agent Scott Boras, he would be willing to play first base for a team as well, however it appears like Cashman is willing to stick with Voit and Bird as opposed to making another splash.