On June 4, Miguel Andujar shocked the Yankees universe when he requested a trade to another team to get more playing time opportunities. Recent reports suggest the team is working to grant his wish.
According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Yankees are “trying to deal” the disgruntled outfielder. Of course, given that his defense is less than ideal and he hasn’t hit at all since his 2019 labrum injury, finding a taker is harder than it looks.
Since returning from that 2019 shoulder surgery, the Yankees have given Andujar just 279 plate appearances. That’s a very low number, but truth be told, he has done nothing with them to force the Yanks’ hand: a .249/.280/.358 slash line shows he is a shell of his 2018 self.
That year, he finished as the American League Rookie of the Year runner-up behind Shohei Ohtani, hitting .297/.328/.527 and 27 home runs and 47 doubles.
The Yankees haven’t given a true opportunity to Andujar, but he hasn’t earned one
Since Opening Day 2020, the Yankees have optioned Andujar nine times, so it’s also hard to find consistency knowing that a specific game could be his last in months.
The Yankees have shored up their outfield with Andrew Benintendi, and also have Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo (still on the roster) and Tim Locastro in Triple-A in case they need him. Playing time opportunities for Andujar would be fairly limited, especially when Giancarlo Stanton returns from his injury.
Andujar, however, could be a worthwhile investment for a rebuilding team willing to give him the at-bats he needs to get into a nice rhythm at the plate. After all, he has a solid .297/.343/.489 line with 10 home runs in 236 Triple-A plate appearances in 2022.
The Yankees clearly value him as a depth piece, but not so much as the formerly promising young thumper he was back in 2018. His place in the organization is not the same as it was four years ago, and he may be an expendable piece at this point.