MLB

Miguel Andújar trade: Five potential landing spots for disgruntled Yankees outfielder

Reports surfaced on Saturday indicating that Miguel Andújar, the runner-up for the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year Award, had requested a trade from the New York Yankees after being demoted to Triple-A. According to Ken Rosenthal, this isn’t the first time Andújar has asked the Yankees to move him.

Andújar’s frustration is understandable. Injuries and poor play have limited him to 90 big-league games since his aforementioned rookie season. He’s hit .234/.260/.329 (62 OPS+) with seven home runs in those 319 trips to the plate. At the same time, Andújar has performed well enough in the minors — for his career he’s hit .312/.362/.505 in 100 Triple-A games — to foster the belief he deserves a prolonged big-league look to prove he’s more than a Quad-A talent.

The odds of a trade involving Andújar are uncertain. CBS Sports spoke to one rival talent evaluator on Saturday who expressed skepticism he would attract many suitors because of his recent struggles and his overall profile. Teams simply do not value right-handed hitters with limited defensive value. It’s true that Andújar has added outfield to his defensive résumé in recent years, yet public metrics indicate he remains a below-average fielder overall.

Besides, interested parties know Andújar, 27, will exhaust his options this season. (Most players are afforded three “option years” that allow them to be sent to the minors at the team’s discretion. Once those three years are used up, the player has to be subjected to waivers before they can be demoted.) At that point, the Yankees will be operating with reduced leverage, and they may conclude that they have no better alternative than to non-tender him.

For the sake of content, say the Yankees do acquiesce to Andújar’s demand and make a sincere attempt to move him in the coming weeks. Which teams might be interested? Below, we’ve put together a list of five potential landing spots. As always, this process is more of an art than a science.

One of the “advantages” of being a bad team is that you can take a look at players who haven’t received enough opportunity elsewhere. The Reds might deem giving Andújar a few hundred plate appearances a better use of time than doing the same with Albert Almora Jr. At minimum, he ought to represent an upgrade over Aristides Aquino as a platoon DH.

Derek Jeter is no longer a top executive with the Marlins, yet former Yankees executive Gary Denbo remains in place and has been rumored to have an outsized say in player acquisitions in the past. Whether or not Denbo would go to bat for Andújar is anyone’s guess, but the Marlins currently have both Luke Williams and Willians Astudillo on their roster. Miami wouldn’t have to view Andújar as a long-term piece to conclude he’s worth a short-term look.

The Nationals are in a similar boat as the model occupied by the Reds: they’re bad and in talent-accumulation mode. It’s possible they feel they already have a version of Andújar in tow, in the form of Maikel Franco. Even so, Franco is a free agent at season’s end and it probably wouldn’t hurt to have some depth in place for after the inevitable Josh Bell trade.

The Rangers have expressed interest in Andújar in the past. It’s unclear if that fire still burns, but there’s an argument to be made that he would represent an upgrade over their current left-field situation, which features Eli White and Zach Reks. The Rangers have played more competent ball than expected to date, and the Yankees may not want to aid a potential playoff opponent.

The idea of Andújar attempting to play Comerica’s spacious outfield is unsettling, but the Tigers could use an offensive boost. Heck, they might even be willing to give him some burn at third base given how Jeimer Candelario left Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury and has thus far failed to build upon two consecutive solid seasons.



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