Regardless of your opinion on the matter, there’s no denying the situation between the New York Yankees and Miguel Andújar is a tough one.
The former Rookie of the Year runner up was optioned over the weekend and promptly requested a trade for the second time since 2020 … when he was also optioned despite not entirely being given the chance to prove himself with regular at-bats.
Here we are again in 2022, and the same thing is happening. But this time, Andújar’s defense in left field has improved, and while his offensive numbers don’t show it, he’s actually been a positive contributor with his bat by putting balls in play and getting runs across the plate in a few timely situations.
However, it hasn’t been enough for the Yankees to give him regular playing time over Aaron Hicks or Joey Gallo. And even if Andújar deserves it, the financial commitments to those two are far too large for them to be kicked to the curb for nothing. The Yankees have to reach a point of no return on both an individual and team level to make a move of that magnitude.
Unfortunately, Andújar has suffered through (largely) no fault of his own. His 2019 injury paved the way for Gio Urshela to own the position the next three years and his transition to left field didn’t show much improvement until his limited time this year.
It’s just a lose-lose situation all around. So what are the Yankees going to do with Andújar, who wants out of New York?
What’s the answer to the Yankees’ dilemma with Miguel Andújar?
The first problem is Andújar’s trade value, which is nothing. Zilch. Unless he’s part of a bigger package around the trade deadline, it’s hard to envision him going anywhere. The Yankees aren’t going to sell an asset that can still be optioned for next to nothing.
But that perspective creates a culture problem. Why keep someone on the 40-man roster who is clearly disgruntled with his role enough to either approach you directly about it or leak it to the media? Why should the Yankees even entertain such an unnecessary headache?
Most fans would agree the Yankees should’ve simply cut their losses this past offseason and just non-tendered Andújar, since paying him $1.3 million despite the lack of a role and an army of bigger names ahead of him hardly made sense.
Instead, it was Clint Frazier who got the heave-ho, and Andújar was given a sense of false hope he could contribute in a meaningful way to the 2022 Yankees. If he requested a trade under similar circumstances in 2020, why did the Yankees think anything would be different if they presented him the exact same situation two years later?
The Yankees exhaust every single avenue before they cut someone loose and cost themselves money/value, so expect Andújar finally reporting to Triple-A as a sign that this will drag out as long as possible.