New York Yankees: What will the team do with Miguel Andujar?

Andres Chavez
New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar
May 7, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar (41) goes to the dugout during game against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees had one of the best young hitters in the game back in 2018. Miguel Andujar, a homegrown prospect with amazing bat-to-ball skills and some game power, finished second in th American League Rookie of the Year race behind Angels phenom Shohei Ohtani.

That season, Andujar slashed .297/.328/.527 and had 27 home runs, 76 total extra base hits, a .361 wOBA and a 130 wRC+. His defense at third base was awful, but he did more than enough with the stick to, well, stick in the New York Yankees’ long-term plans.

However, he suffered a torn labrum early in the 2019 season and everything has gone downhill since then. The rise to stardom of Gio Urshela, the news that the Yankees will use Giancarlo Stanton mainly as a designated hitter from now on, and the team overall depth in the lineup have left Andujar without a clear path to playing time in 2021.

Andujar started the 2020 condensed season healthy, but could never get going. He finished at .242/.277/.355 with only one homer, a .274 wOBA and a paltry 71 wRC+. His average exit velocity was 85.9 miles per hour.

The Yankees can’t promise playing time for him

Maybe he was affected by his shoulder. Maybe the task of learning the outfield, first base and keep himself sharp at third took too much time and energy for him to focus on being a better hitter. But the fact remains that the Yankees now have better options to plug in all those positions.

What will happen with Miguel Andujar? Trading him would feel like giving him away, since his value is at an all-time low. He has no defensive value and he is coming from a horrid season at the plate.

However, keeping him may be counterproductive, since he wouldn’t play too much, if at all. He has a minor league option remaining, but, to be honest, we don’t know if COVID-19, MLB, the union and governmental authorities will agree to play a minor league season in 2021.

The future of Miguel Andujar remains one of the most fascinating storylines of the Yankees’ offseason.