Miguel Andújar’s agent went after the Yankees following his client’s bizarre 2020 season.
Like most stressful position battles the Yankees have faced over the past few years, Miguel Andújar vs. Gio Urshela appears to have worked itself out.
Fortunately, the Yanks are left with a player in Urshela who now has well over a year of positive data both at the plate and in the field (according to the eye test, at least).
Unfortunately, Miguel Andújar, who set the rookie record with 47 doubles and hit 27 homers with a .298 average in 2018, has now been left positionless, floating to left field and first base at various times before being banished to the Alternate Site yet again this week.
Most fans fell in love with Andújar’s helicopter swing, potent smile and penchant for clutch homers in ’18, and for him to fall out of the pecking order just two years later seemed unfathomable — remember how much those pre-Manny Machado trade rumors hurt you? But now, the deficient defender is left without a role, something that has not gone unnoticed by his agent, who believes his client is being jettisoned to the Alternate Site unfairly.
“Miguel is the first one sent down and never the first one brought back up,” Andújar’s agent Ulises Cabrera bluntly told The Athletic this week, as the Yankees surged following his client’s latest zig-zag.
Of course, this time it all hinged on Gleyber Torres’ calf issue. The Yankees needed to maintain both Tyler Wade and Thairo Estrada for versatility purposes, it seemed. Naturally, Estrada went down the very next day to clear a spot for Aaron Judge, somewhat invalidating this argument.
On the surface, it’s frustrating for everyone, not just those who have a vested interest in the third baseman’s career path. The past few weeks of Andújar’s offense made him a far more valuable contributor with the bat in the DH spot than, say, Gary Sanchez, who continues to get regular work while batting in the .130s.
Andújar’s agent also raised a service time issue here, though, which seems invalid — even without any additional control, repeated demotions have always seemed likely.
Andújar’s agent cleanly asserted in The Athletic piece that he was beginning to waver on his vision that the slugger would stay in the Bronx, claiming that his client was clearly ready to play “Major League Baseball,” wherever that may ultimately be, acknowledging that possibility publicly for the first time.
And so, the wheels are in motion once again — where’s Andújar headed this offseason? Who will take that chance?