With the New York Yankees considering every point of action this offseason, third baseman Miguel Andujar could be a player of significant value, whether it be in a trade or as a retained player.
Barring any trade scenarios, Andujar is on pace to be the reserve third baseman behind Gio Urshela, who exploded onto the scene in 2019, hitting .314 with 21 homers over 442 at-bats. His defense was also stellar on the hot corner, finishing with a .954 field percentage and 284 putouts over 123 games.
Urshela rightfully earned the opportunity to start during the 2020 campaign or at least the first crack at the starting lineup. General manager Brian Cashman stated earlier this offseason that teams had already called to gauge interest on a potential trade for Andujar. Still, I believe the Yankees should keep him locked up and far from danger.
Andujar has a great bat, but his defensive qualities have let him down since his inception into the MLB in 2018. The idea was floated that he could be moved to a different position. First base remains an option if Urshela holds on tight to the starting third base job. Getting Andujar involved should be a priority, as allowing him to justify his value and even increase it would give the Bombers an advantage heading into the trade deadline next season.
Why the New York Yankees should hold onto Miguel Andujar:
In 2018, Andujar batted .297/.328/.527 in 149 games as a rookie. He finished in second place in A.L. Rookie of the Year voting. He’s one-year removed from that impressive campaign, and teams around the league will be looking to snatch him from the Yankees at a lower price-point.
One statistic that bodes well for his keeping is his low strikeout rate. The Yankees have adopted a home run centric mentality towards the game, which unfortunately is accompanied by high strikeouts ratios. That will be a welcomes addition to the lineup in 2020, where Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Giancarlo Stanton all rack of strikeouts faster than the Houston Astros were buried in cheating scandals.
Overall, the idea that Andujar could be left behind is de-bunked. The Yankees have a ton of value they can extract from him, and he’s nowhere near his potential, which should justify retaining him 100x over.