Yankees’ Aaron Boone indicates Miguel Andujar is sticking around after health check

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

The New York Yankees have floated the idea of sending infielder Miguel Andujar in a package deal to the Brewers in exchange for star relief pitcher, Josh Hader. While these talks are ongoing and sources have claimed that Hader will be moved this offseason, whether the Yankees provide the best deal or not, manager Aaron Boone advocated for the third baseman’s health.

Andujar, who’s preparing to make a comeback after missing virtually all of 2019 with a Labrum tear, is making significant progress and should be ready for Spring Training.

“[Andujar] is doing really well,’’ Boone said Friday at Yankee Stadium. “I expect him to be ready to go for spring training.’’

The third-year player, who had a stellar rookie campaign in 2018, earning a .297 batting average with 47 RBIs and 27 homers, will be looking to find a regular role on the team. With the emergence of Gio Urshela, Andujar has taken a backseat in the defensive department. Still, he will likely feature as the designated hitter, increasing his value as a potential trade piece down the line.

Andujar, though, could still be on the table to depart this offseason, despite Boone’s encouragement.

“His shoulder has been feeling good and there’s no reason to believe he won’t be full bore for spring training,” Boone said.

What could the Yankees do with Miguel Andujar aside from trading him?

There’s always the potential that Boone tries to move Andujar to a different position, where he could be of more value to the team moving forward. I believe keeping Andujar would be in the best interest of the team, as the Yankees don’t have a reserve third baseman, and his offensive production can be of value to the team in 2020.

Using him as trade bait at the deadline next year might be more suitable for the Bombers, who don’t know if he will return to his rookie form.

New York Yankees news, rumors: Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar trade pieces for Josh Hader

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

Settling with Gerrit Cole would be the easy way out of free agency for the New York Yankees, but general manager Brian Cashman has been given the green light to pursue all targets that would contribute to the further success of the team.

The Yankees managed to climb to 103 wins on the backs of several reserve players like Mike Tauchman, Gio Urshela, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, and more. They don’t necessarily need to dive into more free agents or potential trade deals, but owner Hal Steinbrenner is keen on winning a World Series in the next two years. Giving up players that are sitting in a secondary role for starting talent makes sense at this point.

Do the New York Yankees have enough utility options?

Both Miguel Andujar and Clint Frazier are on the line to be traded to the Brewers for Josh Hader, which would bring one of the best relief pitchers to the Bronx. The Brewers are also asking for a top prospect, but Cashman isn’t keen on letting two starting level players and a prospect go for a relief pitcher.

MLB Marathon: Hader for Andujar and Frazier being discussed. #Brewers seeking one more top prospect to finish the deal. Cashman being a tough negotiator. 

However, Hader’s numbers are stellar, and at just 25-years-old, his value is sky-high. Factor in the four years of team control the Bombers would consume, and his influence would be massive.

Here are Hader’s #s from 2017 in relation to other relievers:

204 IP (13th)
2.42 ERA (8th)
2.74 FIP (13th)
.85 WHIP (1st)
.146 Opponent AVG (1st)
15.3 K/9 (2nd)

There’s no such thing as too much pitching, and with both Dellin Betances and Nestor Cortes Jr. departing, Cashman needs to inject more talent into the bullpen. Having multiple quality starters and bullpen arms would give the New York Yankees a better chance at making the World Series, and they don’t want to look back and regret not making a decision that would increase their chances.

Trading away Andujar and Frazier might be a lot, but would it be worth a World Series win in 2020?

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The Yankees could have a problematic situation at third base in 2020

New York Yankees, Gio Urshela

In 2018, Gio Urshela boasted a .233 batting average with a .608 OPS, thrusting his value downwards, in the opposite direction he would end up going in 2019, after joining the New York Yankees. Urshela emerged as one of the Yankees’ saving graces last season, logging a .314 BA with 21 homers and 74 RBIs, all career-highs for the former Toronto Blue Jay.

Credit the hitting coaches for the Yankees and their progressive mentality, focusing on launch angle and superior analytics. With only one good year under his belt, though, it’s challenging to justify expected success from the 28-year-old. At the third base position, the Yankees don’t have much defensive depth, as Miguel Andujar is expected to slot in behind Urshela. However, Gio has always been a quality defensive player. It’s his offense that has been in flux over the past few years.

If Urshela’s offensive production falls off in 2020, can they remain confident in starting him? The Yankees may play the hot hand at any given time between Gio and Andujar, who will be returning from a torn Labrum. His defense is the one significant deficiencies holding him back, which has brewed optimism he could be traded before the start of the regular season. Although, I believe keeping him on the roster and allowing him to log one more year of offensive efficiency would help increase his value tremendously. Theoretically, GM Brian Cashman could give him a substantial sample size of at-bats and ship him at the trade deadline to compensate for any given weakness at the time.

The Yankees aren’t ready to give up on Andujar:

Cashman has expressed his confidence in Urshela, stating that it’s essential his job to lose on the hot corner. His defense is far better than Andujar’s, creating a bit of a puzzle at the position regarding playing time. However, he also communicated his desire to get Andujar’s bat in the lineup, who laced 47 doubles and 27 homers in 2018. Getting him back to form is a priority for the Bombers, who could use him in a designated hitter role with confidence.

At this point in the progression at third base, Urshela has earned the right to get the first crack at being the consistent starter. Andujar must be factored into the strategy if he’s not traded, but his potential makes this a reasonable plan.

New York Yankees rumors: Trade package including Miguel Andujar

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

The New York Yankees just recently lost Dellin Betances to the Mets when they announced they picked him up off the free-agent market. Even though Betances will be rehabbing for the majority of the year, that was still a big loss.

The New York Yankees have been eyeing Josh Hader from the Milwalkee Brewers for a few weeks now. According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, a trade is possible that sends Miguel Andujar and a prospect to Milwalkee for Hader.

@JonHeyman on Twitter said this: Yankees remain interested in Josh Hader and could begin a package with 3B Miguel Andujar (Brewers don’t really have a set 3B). Interested teams still aren’t totally convinced Milwaukee would move the star closer though.

@NYYTalks said this about a potential trade: Yankees are willing to include 3B Miguel Andújar and top SP prospect Deivi Garcia in a deal for LHP Josh Hader…. problem is that the Brewers are still asking for at least one more top prospect such as Gil, Florial, or Schmidt for a deal to work out.

In my opinion, a trade with the Brewers that sends Andujar there and we get Hader makes a lot of sense for the Yankees. However, I think including Deivi Garcia would be giving up too much. There’s too much promise with how Garcia is expected to progress that I feel like the Yankees would be losing too much just to get a reliever in return.

I think trading away any other prospect in return for Hader would be good for the Yankees. Betances was a bigger loss than most people realize, and Hader would fill that missing piece easily.

New York Yankees targeting top relief pitcher in potential trade

New York Yankees, Josha Hader

The most prominent deal of the 2020 offseason was undoubtedly the New York Yankees and Gerrit Cole inking a nine-year, $324 million. The hot stove has calmed in recent days, though, before the Jays landed Hyun-jin Ryu in a four-year, $80 million deal. However, with GM Brian Cashman quietly waiting for his opportunity to pounce, one can never remain complacent during these tumultuous times.

The latest speculation revolves around Milwaukee Brewers’ Josh Hader, who the Yankees have been linked to for weeks now. The star relief arm has made himself an attractive trade target, and the Bombers have plenty of youth capital to part with if the Brewers are willing to give him up in a deal.

MLB Insider Jon Heyman stated:

“Yankees remain interested in Josh Hader and could begin a package with 3B Miguel Andujar (Brewers don’t really have a set 3B),” Heyman tweeted. “Interested teams still aren’t totally convinced Milwaukee would move the star closer though.”

There’s precedent for a deal between the two sides, especially if Andujar is on the table and possibly Clint Frazier. Hader, 25, has only spent three seasons in the big leagues and has four years of team control left on his deal. He has been stellar in short a short period, owning a combined 2.42 ERA, 178 ERA+, 15.3 SO/9, 4.85 SO/BB, and a 2.73 FIP.

Adding him to a bullpen with Zack Britton, Chad Green, and Aroldis Chapman would not only give the Yankees a stellar back-end pitcher, but it would take the pressure off the starting rotation, mitigating fatigue and injury concerns.

The New York Yankees would have to part with a potential star:

The downside to this tentative deal would be the loss of Andujar, who logged 27 HR, 47 doubles, and a .855 OPS in his rookie season. At just 24-years-old, Andujar has plenty of time to reach his potential and find his preferred defensive spot. His issues at third base are apparent, but the Yankees haven’t ruled out moving him to a different place to supplement his deficiencies on the hot corner.

New York Yankees news, rumors: Josh Hader talks still going on, Miguel Andujar could be on his way out

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

As the offseason progresses and we continue to hear chatter through the grapevine, it’s only fair to assume New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman is not done making moves. After the behemoth signing of Gerrit Cole on a nine-year, $324 million deal, it was expected that the Yanks wouldn’t be looking to make any more significant moves unless it favored the salary cap.

However, they didn’t say anything about trading for players who are still under team control and on friendly deals.

This leads us into our Yankees rumors/news of the day:

Josh Hader:

Jon HeymanYankees remain interested in Josh Hader and could begin a package with 3B Miguel Andujar (Brewers don’t really have a set 3B). Interested teams still aren’t totally convinced Milwaukee would move the star closer though.

The Yankees are still in search of Dellin Betances’ replacement, and Hader fits the bill for their retooling in the bullpen. The 25-year-old pitched lights out baseball last season, earning a 2.62 ERA and 0.806 WHIP over 75.2 innings pitched. His injection into the Yankees’ bullpen would not only upgrade the unit significantly, but it would create a balance unprecedented in baseball.

If the Bombers are serious about pursuing Hader, third baseman Miguel Andujar could be a focal point in a theoretical trade. The Brewers don’t have the hot corner spot locked up, which gives Andujar the additional value the Yankees are looking for.

It’s also possible outfielder Clint Frazier could be involved in a potential deal, considering his lack of value to a unit that’s stockpiled with talent and reserves. Frazier will start the season as the No. 5 outfielder behind Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner, and Mike Tauchman. Once Aaron Hicks returns at the midway point in 2020, Frazier will subsequently drop to the 6th spot, making his services virtually useless. Cashing in on his value now might be the best move for the Yankees, who could use more reinforcements at other positions.

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The New York Yankees plan for Miguel Andujar should be simple

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

As trade speculation continues to evolve into a reality across the MLB, we find ourselves coming back to New York Yankees‘ third baseman, Miguel Andujar. The infielder is going into his third season after missing all of 2019 with a torn labrum, and the expectation is that GM Brian Cashman will package him in a deal for another starting player or a bullpen arm.

However, Cashman would be smart to retain Andujar, though, as increasing his value should be a priority during the 2020 season. There’s little doubt that Andujar is a hot commodity on the open market, and teams have been reaching out to express their interest in his services. Up to this point, Cashman has backed away from any talks, considering the potential of the youth product.

The Yankees have a tough decision to make:

With the emergence of Gio Urshela last season on the hot corner, the Bombers have a difficult decision to make regarding Andujar. Do they trade him away, change his position, or utilize him as a designated hitter in 2020?

According to manager Aaron Boone, the Yankees haven’t considered moving him around in the infield, which would indicate that they are looking to keep him at third base.

We’ll see. Long way to go between now and certainly Opening Day and the end of March. I know he’s doing well physically. First and foremost it’s about getting him rehabbed properly and ready to go so that he’s ready to come into Spring Training and compete. He’s working hard right now on his defense and kinda building up his arm strength. So we know he’s a really talented, really potentially special player, and first and foremost we want him to be healthy and ready to go so he can put his best foot forward come spring training.

In regards to considering a switch of positions:

No, no. We have not. And I think it’s probably something he would be open to. We have started talking about a little bit, but right now we have a focus on getting healthy and working hard at third base.

The most efficient move would be to hold off on moving Andujar until the Yankees resurrect his value, whether it’s through an increase in defensive efficiency or offensive production. This would give the Bombers the ability to enjoy a better return on investment if there is a need at the trade deadline next season.

Taking a look at the Yankees projected lineup for the 2020 season

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

With the offseason acquisitions slowly coming to a halt, the Yankees are now in a position to begin formulating their plans for the 2020 season. Of course, GM Brian Cashman could surprise us all as he’s done in the past with back-end signings and trades, but the inking of Gerrit Cole on a nine-year, $324 deal tops the list of investments.

The Yankees aren’t in dire need of reinforcement across the board, though, they have a great starting pitching rotation, a solid bullpen, strong outfield, and strong infield. Unless Cashman is keen on trading for a big-name player like Francisco Lindor, I don’t imagine the projected lineup will change much in the coming months.

Taking a look at the Yankees projected lineup:

Leadoff – DJ LeMahieu 

Not only did LeMahieu have a stellar offensive season, logging a .327 BA with 26 homers and 102 RBIs over 145 games, but he was equally as good on defense. He was stellar leading off for the Yankees last year, and he will remain in that spot moving forward.

Second – Aaron Judge

Slotting Judge right behind LeMahieu makes perfect sense, as the tandem was lucrative in 2019, racking up 52 total homers. They have developed unique chemistry hitting side by side, and this won’t change next season.

Third – Gleyber Torres

Torres has rightfully earned the third slot in the batting order, simply due to his offensive efficiency. His .278 BA and 37 homers last year makes him a severe threat at the top of the order. The Yankees will have an intimidating first three, and it will pay dividends.

Fourth – Giancarlo Stanton

You guessed it, Stanton will bat cleanup, as usual. If you cancel out his injury-plagued 2019 season, he hit 97 homers from 2017-2018. There’s no doubt he should feature in the four spot, creating a little more havoc for opposing pitchers.

Fifth – Gary Sanchez

MORE POWER! Sanchez is pretty much good for one thing, hitting homers. His 34 homers last season was a career-high, and he will be looking to build upon that benchmark.

Sixth – Luke Voit

Did somebody say, “power?” The Yankees are certainly focusing on the long ball with this lineup, and it doesn’t get any weaker with Voit, a player who can bench press 225LB with one arm.

Seventh – Miguel Andujar 

In the DH spot will live Miguel Andujar, who has lost the third base position to Gio Urshela, due to a lack of defensive efficiency. However, Andujar is a stellar hitter and will offer extreme value toward the bottom of the lineup. Not too long ago, he smashed 27 homers and 47 doubles with a .297 BA.

Eighth – Brett Gardner

The ever-green lefty, Brett Garder, will slot in at eighth while Aaron Hicks recovers from Tommy John surgery. Gardner had a career-best in home runs last season, logging 28. He will pray that those juiced baseballs remain a thing in 2020.

Ninth – Gio Urshela

Hopefully, Urshela isn’t a one-year wonder for the Yankees, as he stole the third base position from Andujar after being a reserve player for the first two years of his career. His stellar glove balances out his production at the plate, but last season took him to an entirely different level. His .314 BA and 21 homers earned him serious praise from manager Aaron Boone.

New York Yankees rumors: Andujar, Higashioka, Maldonado

New York Yankees, Yankees, Brian Cashman

The New York Yankees have already picked up the biggest free agent in all of baseball, Gerrit Cole, and they still might not be done. Despite how successful Brian Cashman and the Yankee front office was when they landed Cole, it’s possible that a sneaky trade or signing could happen.

Cashman is known to land sneaky smart trades for the Yankees. Last season, nobody expected him to pick up James Paxton from Seattle. There were no rumors or anything, just Brian Cashman doing his thing.

It seems that Hal Steinbrenner is also supporting anything Cashman and Aaron Boone think is best for the team. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see at least one more move by the Yankees before the beginning of the season.

Here are your latest New York Yankees rumors:

@DanJFederico on Twitter says via Twitter: Seeing a lot about Miguel Andujar in trade rumors. According to a source, there is a lot of interest in the Yankees 3B, but some want to see how he performers in Spring Training. “He’s a big risk now. Won’t bring you enough value until he’s proven that he’s healthy.”

MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand via Twitter: The Yankees have interest in C Martin Maldonado, per source. Interesting stats to consider: Maldonado caught Gerrit Cole 10 times in 2019 – and Cole had a 1.57 ERA and .471 opponent OPS in those starts, his lowest numbers with any of Houston’s catchers last season.

YES Network’s Jack Curry on Twitter: With Romine signing in Detroit, Yankees lose a valuable backup C. That means Higashioka will ascend to that position. Club execs like his power ability vs LHPs and his advanced pitch framing skills. Will need to show he can produce while playing sporadically

The remainder of the offseason should be centered around several things, helping Gerrit Cole reach his potential, helping Gleyber Torres transition to shortstop in a full capacity, and solidifying the backup catcher position.

Yankees’ Aaron Boone indicates Miguel Andujar is sticking around

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

With the New York Yankees signing star pitcher Gerrit Cole to a massive nine-year, $324 million contract, the golden gates are undoubtedly open in free agency. However, potential trades are also on the table as well, especially with value players like Miguel Andujar on the roster.

Reports of teams being interested in Andujar’s services have popped up from time to time, specifically the Texas Rangers. The former runner-up for AL Rookie of the Year missed virtually all of 2019 with a torn labrum and has since been rehabbing in an attempt to return to full health in 2020.

Where will the New York Yankees play Andujar?

The Bombers have tried to force the third base position on Andujar the past two seasons, but the reality is, he’s not defensively capable on the hot corner. Moving him to an outfield role or even first base might be preferable, but the Yankees are already stocked to the brim at most positions.

They could feature him in a designated hitter role next season, which is the most probable scenario as he works his way back from shoulder surgery.

When manager Aaron Boone was asked about Andujar switching positions, he stated:

We’ll see. Long way to go between now and certainly Opening Day and the end of March. I know he’s doing well physically. First and foremost it’s about getting him rehabbed properly and ready to go so that he’s ready to come into Spring Training and compete. He’s working hard right now on his defense and kinda building up his arm strength. So we know he’s a really talented, really potentially special player, and first and foremost we want him to be healthy and ready to go so he can put his best foot forward come spring training.

Has Boone asked Miguel to buy another glove?

No, no. We have not. And I think it’s probably something he would be open to. We have started talking about a little bit, but right now we have a focus on getting healthy and working hard at third base.

Considering Boone’s confidence that Andujar would be open to playing a different position, it’s fair to assume the youngster is conscious of his struggles at third base and might prefer a change in scenery. Nonetheless, I don’t imagine they will be moving on from him anytime soon as his value is lower after missing an entire season early on in his career.