The Yankees did Miguel Andújar dirty with late-season DFA

Thomas Carannante
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 3: Miguel Andujar #41 of the New York Yankees at bat against the Detroit Tigers during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium on June 3, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 3: Miguel Andujar #41 of the New York Yankees at bat against the Detroit Tigers during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium on June 3, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /
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Whether you were fed up with Miguel Andújar in pinstripes or not, it’s hard to argue the New York Yankees did right by him over the last few years. He may no longer have been a suitable contributor, but it should’ve never reached this point.

Back in 2020 during the shortened COVID-19 season, Andújar played in only 21 of the team’s 60 games despite there clearly being a way for manager Aaron Boone to squeeze him into the lineup, especially if the Yankees were committing to him playing the outfield (in addition to some third base when needed).

As a result of his unpleasant experience of getting jerked around between Triple-A Stanton and the Bronx, Andújar’s agent requested a trade and the ordeal became public. The gripe was reasonable and totally understandable.

Andújar was coming off shoulder surgery after an injury derailed his 2019 campaign. The year prior, he was the AL ROY runner up to LA Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani. That lost 2019 season cost him his job due to the emergence of Gio Urshela, who was better on defense and swung a good enough bat to remain in the starting lineup.

But the Yankees didn’t grant Andújar his trade request. Nor did they give him playing time. And that’s largely continued for the past two seasons as well. He’s essentially wasted away at Triple-A despite there being potential for him to be a serviceable major leaguer. Maybe not here, but somewhere else … even though he’s somewhere in between a Triple-A player and a major leaguer, it would seem.

The Yankees did Miguel Andújar dirty with late-season DFA

This year, Andújar requested a trade once again before the deadline. But he remained a Yankee, even though he had no role on the major league club and hardly even contributed when the team was decimated with injuries.

On Thursday, he was designated for assignment by the Bombers as general manager Brian Cashman prepares to make room for a number of players on the mend. Even though he still has a minor-league option remaining (he was optioned on Wednesday), Andújar was cut loose with just over two weeks left in the season — something he had pretty much asked for two years ago.

Instead, he was oddly forced to relive that storyline two more times over, stuck in some nightmarish Westworld baseball loop. Finally, Dolores took over Cashman and made the call.

Now, don’t get us wrong, Andújar hardly did himself any favors. As difficult as it is to cash in on inconsistent and infrequent opportunities that were counterproductive to getting in a rhythm, the 27-year-old was even worse than most could’ve imagined for a player in such a role. He’s only played in 93 games since that 2019 injury. He’s batted .244 with a .618 OPS, good for a -0.4 WAR.

But how could’ve anybody expected him to perform to his fullest abilities? His job was essentially stolen from him. The Yankees had him switch positions after just one full season in the bigs. And, most importantly, when the situation came to a head multiple times, Andújar expressed he didn’t want to be here two years ago. Instead of granting a player they didn’t need or want such a request, the Yankees seemingly stubbornly hung onto him to make a point. Why else wouldn’t they have cleared his roster spot to make room for someone else who would’ve been of greater use?

With 15 games left in the regular season, Andújar is now without a home. And he’s unlikely to latch on anywhere long enough (or at all) to make an impression for 2023, something that could’ve been accommodated for him nearly two months ago.

The Yankees’ decision making is particularly off-the-mark and downright cold when it comes to interpersonal/morale decisions. The Jordan Montgomery trade. The entire Joey Gallo ordeal. The Gary Sánchez saga. The Luke Voit drama after acquiring Anthony Rizzo. The Tyler Wade trade (Aaron Judge’s good friend!). The deteriorating situation with Clint (Jackson Frazier). Whatever happened with Masahiro Tanaka. We can keep going.

Look, we know life isn’t fair … but is it this unfair?

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