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Yankees prospects: Miguel Andujar, Estevan Florial reassigned to minor league camp

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This was the unpopular, but correct, call.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at New York Mets Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to yesterday’s game against the Marlins, the Yankees announced that they optioned Miguel Andujar and Estevan Florial to minor league camp. Andujar received an assignment to Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes/Barre while Florial’s destination remains unknown. He will probably open the season with High-A Tampa, though.

Florial never had a chance to make the squad, so his reassignment comes as no surprise. Andujar, however, made a splash in big league camp. He put together a .262/.273/.643 batting line across 42 at-bats. He also clubbed four home runs. In a cruel turn of events, he was named Yankees’ 2017 Minor League Player of the Year immediately after learning he was optioned. Oops.

Hear me out, though. This was the right call.


I know, I know, but just listen...


That really struck a nerve, huh?



Seriously, though, this makes sense from a baseball perspective. The Yankees have better options right now in Brandon Drury and Neil Walker. That’s not to say that the team has given up on Andujar. The team clearly values him. It’s just that Drury and Walker give the club the best chance to win in the early goings of 2018.

Drury, 25, has a lot of upside in his bat. He’s young and fits the youth movement idea. Plus, he quietly has hit the cover off the ball this spring. He’s hit to a .289/.386/.500 line with a home run in Grapefruit League action. Drury is also a career .271/.319/.448 batter at the big league level. He’s the sure thing, a known commodity with plenty of signs to suggest improvement.

For a while after the Drury trade, I thought the Yankees would have Andujar start at third base with Drury at second. The Walker signing threw that idea away. While no decision has been announced, the 32-year-old will be the team’s everyday second baseman. The Bombers didn’t sign him to ride the bench. He is a career .272/.341/.437 hitter who makes a ton of contact. Walker will take heat as an over-the-hill veteran blocking a prospect, but that’s undeserved criticism. He’s frankly better right now than Andujar or Gleyber Torres.

That’s not to say we won’t Andujar in the Bronx this year. Aaron Boone indicated as much.

“He played really well defensively. I think everyone got a peek at the kind of hitter we think he’s going to be,” Boone told Bryan Hoch. “I just had a long talk with him in here to go down there and continue to polish, continue to get better, continue to work. It won’t be too long before he’s up here for good.”

Andujar will get his time. The Yankees value him so much they made him off-limits in trade talks over the winter. They just have better options at the moment. As a team with World Series aspirations, they have go with the players who give them the best chance to win. Soon that will include Andujar — and in a few years Florial — but for now it’s up to Drury and Walker.