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Luke Voit is among the players already working out at the Yankees’ complex in Tampa, but it’s the players who are due to show up later this month who have the first baseman especially excited about the upcoming season.
“We got The Machine back, so life is good,’’ Voit said of DJ LeMahieu staying in The Bronx after testing free agency. “He’s a great teammate. A great leader. … I hope he’s in New York the rest of his career. He’s the best hitter in baseball and a table setter for us.”
Retaining LeMahieu and acquiring Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon means the Yankees had a “good offseason,” according to Voit, who was among the honorees Tuesday at the Thurman Munson Awards ceremony to benefit AHRC New York Foundation which aids people with intellectual and physical disabilities.
“We needed starting pitching,’’ Voit said. “I know the injury histories there. Jameson hasn’t pitched in a year and a half [following a second Tommy John surgery] and I know he’s ready to go.”
Voit faced Taillon when he was with the Cardinals and Taillon was in Pittsburgh.
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“He’s a big dude and throws 95-96 [mph] and I’m anxious to see what he looks like in spring training,’’ Voit said. “And Kluber’s got two Cy Young [awards], so you hope you get what you used to get. We just have to stay away from the injury bug.”
Kluber played with Gio Urshela, who was also honored Tuesday — in Cleveland and the third baseman said he is confident Kluber will thrive with the Yankees.
“He’s a competitive guy,’’ Urshela said. “When he’s on the mound, he’s gonna do everything he can do to win that game. The way he’s focused on the game, that’s what you like to see from a pitcher as a position player. It’s gonna be a fun year.”
For that to be the case, the Yankees will have do what Voit suggested and stay away from the injury bug.
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Voit said he’s recovered from the plantar fasciitis that bothered him last season, while Urshela said his surgically repaired elbow is “really good.”
Whether it’s good enough to be ready to play at the beginning of spring training is questionable, but Urshela said it “looks like” he’ll be ready for Opening Day.
Right now, that’s scheduled for April 1 and Major League Baseball is still set to open spring training camps in two weeks.
Voit is hopeful they can get the season going despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“We already did it with 60 games,’’ Voit said of the 2020 season. “Other sports are doing it, as well. I think we can figure out a way to get this done and do it in the safest way possible.’’
The Yankees signed right-hander Kyle Barraclough to a minor league contract, according to MLB.com. The 30-year-old was last with the Padres organization. He pitched in the majors most recently with San Francisco in 2019. He’s also pitched with Washington and Miami.