Chicago Cubs Rumors: Could Luke Voit fill 1B need?

Washington Nationals v New York Mets - Game One
Washington Nationals v New York Mets - Game One / Elsa/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs are seeking improved production out of the first base position in 2023 and that is the reason why Chicago White Sox free agent first baseman Jose Abreu has been identified as a primary target for the team. The Cubs may need to act fast on their pursuit of Abreu as the San Diego Padres have identified the 2020 American League MVP as a primary target as well for their first base need next season. In the event that the Cubs miss out on their pursuit of Abreu, the team will need to pivot to a fallback option.

Outside of Abreu, the Cubs have cast a wide net in their search for a first baseman as the team has also met with free agents Trey Mancini and Josh Bell. Another first baseman became available on Friday as the 31-year-old Luke Voit was not tendered a contract by the Washington Nationals.

Voit was traded from the San Diego Padres to the Nationals at the Major League Baseball trade deadline in 2022. It was the same trade that involved Bell and outfielder Juan Soto being sent to the Padres and the interesting caveat about that deal is that Voit wasn't originally intended to be a part of the trade. The Padres wanted to ship veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer to the Nationals as part of the deal but Hosmer refused to agree to the trade and that forced San Diego to include Voit.

Luke Voit may be the Chicago Cubs backup plan at first base.

Voit may have lacked motivation after the trade as his entire slash line with the exception of his batting average regressed during the 2022 season after being dealt to the Nationals. Overall, last season, Voit had a slash line of .226/.308/.402/.710 in 568 plate appearances to go along with 22 home runs and 102 wRC+.

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If the Cubs miss on their primary targets in Abreu, Mancini, or Bell, the team could pivot to Voit for their first base vacancy in 2023. Matt Mervis figures to be a part of the Cubs' solution at first base at some point during the 2023 season but it is important to remember that he is entering only his third season in professional baseball. Voit, given his tendency to better against right-handed pitchers over the course of his career, wouldn't be an ideal platoon partner for Mervis but could be a valuable insurance policy.