Miguel Rojas could be a huge addition for the Yankees this offseason.
New York Yankees fans were surprised on Friday night when Gio Urshela posted a picture of himself in a sling on Instagram. It was clear he was in the hospital and had just underwent surgery. The team confirmed the news shortly after, announcing that he had a bone chip removed from his right elbow.
Now, Urshela will be on the shelf for three months. Though it’s been said he’ll be ready for Opening Day, he’s going to miss around half of spring training, so it’s possible that he won’t truly be up to speed by April 1. Remember when Didi Gregorious returned from Tommy John? We know that’s a more significant procedure, but elbow operations are no joke. It could take some time for Urshela to return to his All-Star form.
In that case, with the winter meetings set to begin on Monday, should the Yankees explore a trade to help fortify third base a bit if Urshela needs more time to recover or has to be eased into action? They probably need a utility guy anyway since Tyler Wade is falling out of favor and Miguel Andujar will likely be shipped out of New York this offseason.
So how about a deal with the Marlins involving infielder Miguel Rojas?
Just to preface this, we have no idea if Miami is looking to trade the veteran, but perhaps Derek Jeter wants to get some value for the 31-year-old, who will earn $5 million in 2021 and has a team option for $5.5 million in 2022 (with a $500K buyout).
If that’s the case, Rojas could be an advantageous addition for the Yankees. The fact he could be had for two years and $10.5 million is a steal since he has a positive dWAR, can play every infield position, brings a decent contact bat to the plate, and hardly strikes out.
Since 2015, he’s logged games at first, second third and shortstop. His versatility would also help the Yankees in their quest to find a backup middle infielder who can hit for contact. Rojas has hit .276 since the start of 2015 and struck out just 181 times across those 415 games.
This Yankees lineup needs more defensive versatility, more contact, fewer strikeouts, and a heavier veteran presence in key roles. Rojas checks all the boxes, so perhaps the Yankees send over one of the top pitching prospects they just placed on the 40-man roster? Either Roansy Contreras, Alexander Vizcaino or Yoendrys Gomez should get the job done. Or maybe just outfielder Estevan Florial?
Some might think that could be excessive, but the Marlins aren’t just going to give the Yankees a key piece to their championship puzzle for nothing. It’s worth exploring, especially since the Bombers have an excess of talent to trade from in their farm system.