Last Updated on November 3, 2023 at 4:27 pm by Amanda Cunha
If the New York Yankees have indeed been undergoing a period of change. In parallel, a former Yanks player, the infielder Miguel Andujar, was placed on waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates this week.
His relationship with the Yankees
Regarding Andujar’s relationship with the Yankees, he was designated for assignment by New York in 2022. His performance in the iconic jersey has been inconsistent, with statistics indicating four seasons marked by ups and downs. Notably, in his debut year in 2018, he made a significant impact, achieving impressive numbers: a 130 OPS+, 27 home runs, 47 doubles, and 302 total bases in 149 games. This performance earned him second place in the MLB Rookie of the Year race, narrowly losing to the Yankees’ 2024 target, Shohei Ohtani.
However, since 2019, Andujar has been plagued by injuries, resulting in a decline in his performance and a stint in the minors, somewhat mirroring the situation of Harrison Bader. Despite this, his association with the Yankees only came to an end in June 2022.
What happened with Andujar?
As for Andujar’s recent performance, he had limited appearances for the Pirates in 2022, achieving a .250/.275/.389 slash line with nine RBIs. Subsequently, he was designated for assignment by the Pirates before the 2023 season. Nevertheless, he remained with the organization, spending most of the season in the minor leagues with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians, where he impressed with 16 home runs, 30 doubles, 86 RBIs, and a .338/.404/.536 slash line in 108 games. This outstanding performance earned him a call-up to the big leagues, where he participated in 30 games, hitting seven doubles and driving in four RBIs with a .250 batting average.
Despite Andujar’s promising performance, particularly in the minor leagues, Pittsburgh placed him on waivers, as reported by DK Pittsburgh Sports‘ Alex Stumpf, who noted that the Pirates were making roster adjustments and that Andújar’s playing time prospects were unclear due to the team’s crowded outfield and Ke’Bryan Hayes occupying the third base position.
Is Andujar coming back to the Yankees?
The question of whether Andújar might return to the Yankees arises. The Yankees have been actively seeking to sign notable free agents this offseason, and Sports Illustrated writer Patrick McAvoy suggests that Andujar could be a viable candidate for the Yankees. McAvoy suggests that if he remains unclaimed, Andujar could choose free agency. Given his solid performance, he could serve as a valuable depth option for the Yankees, provided he can translate his minor league success to the big leagues. McAvoy also notes that Andujar’s past performance, particularly in his debut season in 2018, showed significant promise.
“If he goes unclaimed, he could elect free agency. He had a solid year and could be a solid depth option for the Yankees if he could carry over his minor league play to the big leagues. Or he could provide minor-league depth if not. At one point he seemed like the Yankees’ third baseman of the future and finished in second place in the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year voting after clubbing 27 home runs and driving in 92 runs.” claimed Mcvoy on his column.
Despite this endorsement from a respected journalist, the Yankees should consider whether bringing back a player who has struggled over the past five years aligns with their goals. This is particularly pertinent given the team’s lackluster performance in the previous season and the notable trades that didn’t lead to a playoff qualification for the first time since 2016. While there is potential for a resurgence in the future, Andujar’s recent history has been marked by a promising debut season followed by subsequent underperformance.
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