The New York Yankees could lose three fixtures with questionable futures this coming week. With the MLB/MLBPA Collective Bargaining Agreement expiring Wednesday, they agreed to move up the day that players can be non-tendered to the day before the CBA expires. Non-tendered players are not given offers to stay with their respective teams.
The Yankees have three players that may be considered to be non-tendered. Miguel Andujar, Luke Voit, and Gary Sanchez. The Yankees already have rid themselves of three other players that they believe have little returning value going forward. Clint Frazier, Tyler Wade, and Rougned Odor have already been shown the door through assignment.
Miguel Andujar, the once-heralded Yankee third baseman of the future, has fallen out of favor, mostly because of injury and lack of playing time. Some may say he still has potential, but when the Gold Glove-like Gio Urshela replaced him at the hot corner, his fate was pretty well sealed.
The Yankees, still seeing potential in the young man, tried to resurrect his career in the outfield and even at first base, but he has failed to shine in those positions as he got less and less playing time. In 2017 he played in a career-high 149 games, hitting 27 home runs, giving hope that he could be the next big Yankee star. But in his other four years at the major league level, he has only been able to play in 83 games combined, 45 last season.
If the Yankees try to salvage him, as he has little trade value, he likely wouldn’t be tendered an offer for much more than a million dollars, but that does not seem likely.
In 2022 you may not be hearing the “Luke Luke” chant from the Yankee Stadium stands, as he is also a candidate to be non-tendered. The once starting first baseman, although a monster of a man, the lower half of his body has failed him. Whether it be his knees or his feet, he hasn’t been able to stay healthy.
The 2020 home run leader played in only about one-third of the games last season. In his six years with the team, he has only played over 100 games in one season. At the trade deadline last season, he was replaced at first by Anthony Rizzo, who came over from the Chicago Cubs. Much of what happens with Voit may have to do with whether the Yankees plan to resign Rizzo, a solid defender. The Yankees do have other options in the free-agent market that they may consider, but Voit’s time with the team is likely over.
Look for Gary Sanchez and Kyle Higashioka to again team up to catch next season. With Gary Sanchez’s less than stellar defense at the backstop, questionable boneheaded plays, and spotty hitting, Sanchez’s future with the team has been in question annually. Of these three players, Sanchez has the best chance of staying with the team, mostly because there are few upgrades on the free-agent market and few to be traded for.
One thing is for sure, with some deadwood already gotten rid of, and with a possible new backup center fielder, star or stop-gap shortstop, and a new starting pitcher, not to mention bullpen upgrades, the 2022 Yankee team will look very different from the teams of the past few years.