At last week’s MLB general managers meetings, Yankees GM Brian Cashman made it clear that Miguel Andujar was a popular topic of conversation. Gio Urshela established himself as a solid starting option at third base in Andujar’s absence last season, and now other teams have come calling about 2018’s Rookie of the Year runner-up.
”I’m definitely getting a lot of interest in Miguel Andujar while I’m sitting down here,” Cashman told Michael Kay in an interview last week. “I’ve got clubs asking me, ‘What are you going to do with him? We’d have an interest in him. Mark us down.’”
This is mere speculation at this point, but just by eyeing the rosters, these four teams could be a potential fit for Andujar, if the Yankees decide to trade one of the league’s more promising young bats this offseason.
The Indians are the most obvious fit for Andujar when you consider their trade assets, roster needs, and financial position. It’s been reported that the Indians could look to trade superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor if the two parties are unable to agree on an extension, and the Yankees might have an opening at shortstop, however unlikely such a swap may be. The Indians also have valuable trade assets in their starting rotation, highlighted by Corey Kluber. But would they part ways with either of those guys in a trade that involved Andujar? Well, the Indians ranked 20th in MLB in second base WAR and 27th in DH WAR last season.
In a theoretical Kluber for Andujar trade, Cleveland could move Jose Ramirez to second base and insert Andujar at third base, strengthening the offensive production for a team that has plenty of pitching, but posted a below average OPS+ last season. The Yankees would surely have to add much more than Andujar to get in the conversation for Lindor, but perhaps the two sides could discuss a deal that sends pitching back to the Bronx.
The Pirates might not be the most likely trade partner because it takes two to tango, as Cashman likes to say, and the Pirates don’t have many obvious fits for the Yankees. However, the Pirates have a new GM in Ben Cherington, and they finished dead last with a -2.5 third base WAR last season. New GM’s have no emotional connection to their top prospects, and Cherington could look to fill a hole immediately upon his arrival in Pittsburgh. It’s hard to imagine the Yankees trading Andujar for prospects at this point in time, but a starter with good stuff like Joe Musgrove could intrigue the Yankees front office.
The Diamondbacks are building on the fly, and a player like Andujar could fit their timeline nicely. They don’t have a glaring need at third base, but they have a tremendously flexible roster that helps grease the wheels of virtually any transaction. They could move Eduardo Escobar to second base and use Ketel Marte as their every day center fielder, dramatically improving an offense that was about league average.
There’s not an obvious fit for the Yankees, but shortstop Nick Ahmed could be a valuable utility infielder, especially if Didi Gregorius leaves in free agency. Ahmed has led MLB shortstops in defensive runs saved the past two seasons and he’s become an average offensive player. The Yankees have also been previously tied to left-handed pitcher Robbie Ray, and with four of the top-34 picks in last year’s MLB Draft, the Diamondbacks have a much improved farm system to trade from. It’s not a perfect match, in no small part because a contending team like the Yankees shouldn’t have much interest in a revamped Diamondback farm, but Arizona isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
It’s been reported that the Cubs are willing to part with key members of their championship core this offseason. The team is reportedly open to the idea of trading players like Kyle Schwarber, Wilson Contreras, and even Kris Bryant. If you want an offseason blockbuster, a trade between the Yankees and the Cubs could certainly be just that. It’s a longshot, but the Cubs would undoubtedly like to replace any lost offensive production with a young, cost-friendly player like Andujar. It might be more likely that Andujar ends up involved in a three team trade with the Cubs, as their three big trade chips don’t necessarily make a ton of sense for the Yankees at this point in time.
There’s not a ton of incentive for the Yankees to trade Andujar, who’s under team control for another four years, but Cashman’s going to listen if teams come calling. The Yankees are in a position to trade from their incredible depth, and the right offer could force the Yankees’ hand as they chase a 28th World Series title.