The New York Yankees have some decisions to make with infielder Miguel Andujar.
The New York Yankees need to make some crucial decisions this offseason when it comes to Miguel Andujar. The Yankees can keep him and try to find a spot for him in the lineup, or they can use him as a trade piece.
The 24-year old is coming off shoulder labrum surgery after he tore his right shoulder diving back to third base in the Yankees third game of the 2019 campaign. The injury ultimately cost him the entire season.
This was terrible news for the Yankees and their fans because Andujar had a stellar rookie season; he finished second for Rookie of the Year after finishing the 2018 season hitting .297 with 27 home runs, 92 RBI’s and a .855 OPS while striking out 97 times. He also broke Yankees legend, Joe DiMaggio’s rookie record for most doubles hit in a regular-season with 47. The only negative aspect of Andujar’s game is his defense.
His replacement, Gio Urshela, did a fantastic job filling in at third base for the Yankees. He played better offensively and defensively than Andujar did in 2018. Urshela finished 2019 hitting .314 with 21 home runs, 74 RBI’s, and a .889 OPS while striking out only 87 times. He also played exceptional defense.
Although Urshela had a stellar 2019 season, the Yankees should keep Andujar at all costs and try to find an everyday role for him in 2020. His defense needs work, but his bat is way too valuable to not be in the lineup.
He is a guy who can hit for average and has 30 home run and 100 RBI power. He also doesn’t strike out a bunch either.
Since strikeouts are becoming a more common theme in baseball today, it’s essential to have as many guys as possible who can hit for average and not strike out a ton.
If the Yankees decide to keep Andujar, the team has two options heading into 2020:
Keep Miggy in the infield
Torres, LeMahieu, and Urshela will be in the starting lineup on Opening Day. That leaves Andujar and Voit as the last two guys remaining for the final starting spot. With Andujar’s ability to hit for average and not just power, I’m giving the final spot to Andujar over Voit.
Now comes the hard part, where is everyone going to play?
I’m under the impression that Didi Gregorius will not be a Yankee in 2020, so I would slide Torres over to shortstop, LeMahieu to second base and keep Urshela at third base. That leaves Andujar at first base with Voit, backing up at first and filling in at designated hitter when Giancarlo Stanton needs a day off.
Move Miggy to the outfield
Another option for Andujar is to have him play the outfield since the Yankees will be without Aaron Hicks for the majority of 2020 while he rehabs from Tommy John surgery. The Yankees can have Aaron Judge in right field, Mike Tauchman or Brett Gardner in center field (I’m assuming they resign the veteran) and have Andujar in left field.
Yes, the Yankees have Stanton and Clint Frazier to play left field, but Stanton should be a full-time DH moving forward, and I’m not entirely sold on Frazier just yet nor a big fan of his game.
This is a good problem to have if you’re Brian Cashman and the Yankees, but hopefully, it doesn’t result in Andujar starting the 2020 season on another team.