The New York Yankees on Thursday announced a sequence of moves that most notably include the return of veteran lefty reliever Zack Britton and an end to Miguel Andujar's time in the Bronx.
Andújar, now 27, not so long ago looked like an important long-term piece for the Yankees. In his rookie season of 2018, Andújar as a 23-year-old put up an OPS+ of 130 and tallied 27 home runs, 47 doubles, and 302 total bases in 149 games (and finished second in Rookie of the Year voting behind Shohei Ohtani).
The Yankees have made the following roster moves:— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 22, 2022
• Placed LHP Wandy Peralta on the 15-day IL (retroactive to 9/19) with left thoracic spine tightness.
• Returned from rehab and reinstated LHP Zack Britton from the 60-day IL.
• Designated INF/OF Miguel Andújar for assignment.
However, since that high point Andújar has struggled badly and battled major shoulder and wrist problems. Since the start of the 2019 season, Andújar has played in just 105 games at the MLB level, and over that span he's batted .228/.255/.318 (55 OPS+) with eight home runs. In between stints with the Yankees, he's managed solid to good numbers in the minors, but his inability to rediscover the skills he showed as a rookie ultimately spelled an end to Andújar's time with the organization.
The Pittsburgh Pirates claimed Andújar off waivers Sunday, the team announced. The Pirates only have nine games to play this season, so the claim was likely made with an eye toward the 2023 roster. Pittsburgh has not had a set DH since trading away Daniel Vogelbach at the deadline. Andújar could fill the role next season at a low cost.
The decision to DFA Andujar clears a spot on the 40-man roster for Britton, who had been on the 60-day injured list and thus not on the 40-man. Wandy Peralta's trip to the 15-day IL clears an active roster spot for Britton. As for Andújar, he'll almost certainly be given a look by another organization, and a fresh start is probably just what he needs after multiple seasons of injury and struggle.