Death, taxes, and New York Yankees fans trying to get a promising player in exchange for Miguel Andujar. After acquiring Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals without putting the Dominican slugger in the package, the odds of him returning to the Yankee lineup are shrinking.
The latest buzz from Jon Heyman suggests that the Yankees are trying to find a home for Andujar, who requested a trade in early June while being shuttled between the major leagues and Triple-A Scranton. The outfield picture is just too crowded for Andujar to sneak into the pros.
Almost all of Andujar’s value lies in his excellent 2018 rookie season. He hit .297 with 47 doubles, 27 home runs, and 92 RBI that year, finishing second to the mercurial Shohei Ohtani in Rookie of the Year voting. If that potential is still locked inside him, he could be an attractive chip.
Unfortunately, Andujar is not the type of player who can bring back a prized prospect in return, nor is he someone who can headline or co-headline a multi-player deal for a precious asset like Frankie Montas. Anyone expecting Andujar to be a serious trade piece is ignoring what we’ve seen in the last few years.
Miguel Andujar won’t get the Yankees much in a trade.
Andujar is raking at Triple-A, putting up a .305 average and clubbing 11 home runs. However, every time he gets to the majors, his bat dries up. With his defense still poor, Andujar’s ability to drive the ball to the gap is the only marketable skill that he still has left.
Andujar has hit .231 with just seven home runs in 92 games since that breakout rookie season. He has just 12 hits (10 of which are singles) in 49 at-bats this season, good for a .555 OPS. Counting on production from four full seasons ago is not the best way to go about improving your ballclub.
If the Yankees are set on trading Andujar, the best case scenario for all parties is to get Andujar to a team that will give him MLB at-bats in exchange for a toolsy prospect somewhere in the lower minor league tiers. Think the Luke Voit for Justin Lange trade with the Padres, albeit on a much less grand scale.
Andujar is nothing more than a lottery ticket at this point, and he should not be dangled in trade talks as a ready-made product that can benefit a rebuilding team. If Brian Cashman does not realize this and tries to sell Andujar as the same player he was in 2018, that could lead to potential trades evaporating in his hands.