NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 05: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Miguel Andujar #41 of the New York Yankees in action against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium on May 05, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Contrary to popular belief, the Yankees aren’t under any pressure to trade Miguel Andujar this winter. If the Rangers want to make him their starting third basemen in 2020, they will need to part with serious talent to bring Brian Cashman to the negotiating table.
Texas officials are reportedly “intrigued” about the possibility of adding Andujar to their every day lineup next season. The Rangers could certainly use the infusion of power the young third baseman can provide. Andujar’s 2019 season was lost due to injury, but the sheer amount of doubles he pounded all over Yankee Stadium in 2018 is a great indicator of just how dangerous he can be in the middle of a major league team’s lineup.
The Rangers certainly need an upgrade at the hot corner and in the middle of their order. Andujar has major defensive issues, but Texas is in a solid position to overlook those deficiencies if he can add pop to their everyday lineup. In short, Andujar would walk right into Texas’ lineup next season if they can pry him away from the Yankees.
That puts Cashman and his front office in a position of strength in these negotiations. The Rangers need to trade for Andujar more than the Yankees need to find him a new club. New York is more than willing to head into Spring Training with both Andujar and Gio Urshela battling it out for their starting third base position.
Texas officials will likely try to convince Cashman to deal Andujar in exchange for one or more bullpen arms capable of pitching in high-leverage situations. The Yankees should flatly refuse to engage in any discussions on that front. There’s only one player that New York should be interested in if they’re going to move Andujar to Texas.
That man is Mike Minor. The Yankees had interest in dealing for him ahead of last season’s trade deadline, but ultimately found the Rangers’ asking price too high. Things might be different given the goals Texas’ front office has for building for 2020 and beyond.
Adding Minor to the Yankees’ rotation would greatly reduce Cashman’s need to add multiple starters in free agency. It wouldn’t stop the organization from making big offers for Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg or Zack Wheeler, but it would prevent the Yankees from overspending on a starter in the next tier of available free agents. That could be a very big benefit for the organization as they try to avoid venturing too far into the luxury tax moving forward.
In all likelihood, the Rangers will refuse to include Minor in a deal for Andujar. That’s a perfectly acceptable outcome from the Yankees perspective. Keeping him is better than selling low on his potential to bounce back from injury.