NEW YORK – Perhaps with another organization, Miguel Andujar will fulfill the promise he showed in 2018, as the runner-up to Shohei Ohtani for AL Rookie of the Year.
On Thursday, Andujar was designated for assignment by the Yankees, part of a series of moves. By Sunday, he was claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Veteran lefty reliever Zack Britton was activated from the 60-day injured list and was back in manager Aaron Boone’s bullpen against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, following a long rehab from Tommy John surgery.
The Yankees placed lefty reliever Wandy Peralta on the 10-day IL due to a back issue, but he’s hopeful of returning for the last series of the regular season.
Britton is hoping to regain his form over the final two weeks of the regular season, in preparation for being a postseason contributor to an inconsistent bullpen that currently does not have a designated closer.
During his rehab assignment, Britton said his signature sinker is "really moving.'' His velocity has been down, but that's partly by design during his ramp up.
"I’m not worried about it. I know it’ll tick up here,'' Britton said at the Stadium. "As long as I have that (sinker movement) and my command I’m not too worried about it.
“The reason why I kind of pushed things is because I want to pitch this year for this team and help them win. For no other reason,’’ said Britton, a free agent after this season.
Someone had to be moved off the 40-man roster to make way for Britton’s return, and the right-handed hitting Andujar was the odd man out.
Andujar, 27, had asked for a trade earlier this year, during another season of being shuttled between Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and the Bronx, but never for an extended stay in the majors.
Earning $1.3 million this year and out of options after 2022, Andujar was a candidate to be non-tendered this November.
In 27 games this season (100 plate appearances), Andujar batted .229 with one homer, eight RBI and a .531 OPS.
Despite being sent up and down, Andujar performed well at Triple-A, batting .285 with 13 homers, 51 RBI and an .81 OPS in 277 at-bats.
But injuries, stretches of poor performance and roster issues mostly conspired to keep Andujar in the minors following 2018, when he batted .297 in 149 games, with 47 doubles, 27 homers and 92 RBI.
Since that season, when he set the Yankees' single-season rookie record for doubles (surpassing Joe DiMaggio's mark), Andujar played in just 103 games with the Yanks, batting .228 with eight homers, 26 RBI and a .573 OPS.
Early in the 2019 season, Andujar suffered a right labrum tear that required season-ending surgery and he's never quite been the same since.
Andujar's defensive issues as a third baseman, and the Yankees' roster configurations, led the organization to switch his position to left field, where he performed capably.
"He's a great kid who works really hard (and) he's worked really hard to make himself a quality left fielder,'' said manager Aaron Boone, acknowledging it was "a tough'' circumstance.
"He's still really talented, so, you never know when it can really... still click for a guy who's shown he can do it at this level.''
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Yankees DFA Miguel Andujar, add Zack Britton to roster