Three seasons in the past, Miguel Andújar was the runner up for the AL Rookie of the 12 months. A 130 wRC+ had Yankee followers imagining one more younger, All Star-level bat within the lineup for years to come back. Since that ROY race, although, Andújar has performed simply 33 of a doable 222 video games, whereas being a well-below common hitter the entire time.
Gio Urshela has develop into a star, hitting higher during the last two seasons than Miggy did in his rookie marketing campaign, whereas taking part in a lot better protection. Clint Frazier established himself as a full-time outfielder in 2020, with a .908 OPS, marketed enchancment on protection, and incomes a Gold Glove nomination. Gold Gloves should be taken with a grain of salt at the perfect of instances, nevertheless it’s arduous to think about Frazier rides the bench from right here on out — he’s confirmed to be pretty much as good as anticipated with the bat, and proven that he may be at the very least dependable within the outfield.
Brian Cashman has re-affirmed his dedication to Giancarlo Stanton because the group’s fulltime DH. All that is to say… the place does Miguel Andújar play?
It’s arduous responsible Andújar for being handed over — he was damage in 2019, tearing his labrum in mid-Could. His efficiency within the 12 video games he did play was abysmal, with a -36 wRC+ and only a 2% stroll charge, however you may’t correctly consider a participant’s expertise on the again of a dozen video games. Andújar misplaced his beginning job at third as a result of he bought damage, and as mentioned above, Urshela turned basically Matt Chapman.
The Yankees have tried to open up spots across the diamond for Andújar, with him taking reps at first solely to see Luke Voit have an MVP-adjacent season whereas main the league in house runs. Frazier has develop into the participant we hoped he could be, Mike Tauchman continues to be on this roster, and the Yankees have demonstrated their loyalty to Brett Gardner again and again. The query of Gardner’s position on the 2021 squad is an open one, however at finest, Andújar is the fifth finest outfielder on this roster.
No DH position, no third base spot, no first base risk, and a cluttered, crowded outfield. Possibly Andújar backs his manner right into a beginning position as a result of Urshela or Voit will get traded, however in doing that, the Yankees transfer a lesser participant into the beginning spot, which means the return on the commerce must be correspondingly extra priceless to cowl that hole. It will probably’t be a hypothetical 1-for-1 worth swap, as a result of the alternative is markedly worse than the incumbent.
Andújar himself doesn’t carry a lot commerce worth, both. It’ll enhance a bit if the Nationwide League retains the DH rule in perpetuity, however an impatient, free-swinging hitter who can’t play protection doesn’t encourage a lot confidence for any group. Positive, possibly you stash him within the minors till the inevitable damage, however even on an IL-plagued group, Andújar hasn’t performed all that a lot:
Miggy’s performed fewer video games than any hitter on the Yankee 40-man over the previous two years. If the perfect capacity is availability, he simply…hasn’t been out there. The Yankees’ insistence on conserving him on the alternate website, even whereas infielders like DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres or Urshela hung out on the IL in 2020, helps sign simply what the membership thinks of their onetime ROY finalist.