Miguel Andujar and his latest trade request have the backing of at least one former teammate who was recently kicked out of the Bronx himself.
Twins wide receiver Gary Sanchez, the former Yankee who will face his former team starting Tuesday in Minnesota, went to bat for Andujar after the left fielder asked to be dealt with following his Friday night demotion to Triple-A.
“My opinion, it’s time for them or any other team to give him an opportunity,” Sanchez told reporters through an interpreter, according to the Star Tribune. “He deserves to play in the big leagues. He did a good job, offensively, but also defensively. He’s come a long way defensively and he’s shown he’s capable of staying in the big leagues. does he deserve an opportunity on another team.
After Andujar provided a strong streak as an injury replacement for the past two weeks, he was returned as an option to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as the Yankees roster returned to full strength.
Andujar has been asking to be traded since late last year, without a regular spot on the Yankees roster, but reiterated that request after Friday night’s game after learning of his latest demotion.
Sanchez, who was close to Andujar during their time together in the Yankees organization, understood that line of thinking.
“If I were him, I would probably be thinking the same thing, asking for a trade, for a different scenario,” Sanchez said. “Because it’s really difficult when you’re ready, and when you’ve shown that you’re ready at that level, to be sent to Triple-A and to play in Triple-A when you deserve to be in the court of the big ones.
“…But at the same time, none of us make those decisions. We are just here to do our job. The front offices decide. But I support him and I hope everything will be fine.
In 12 games with the Yankees this season, Andujar was batting .268 with a .596 OPS while showing defensive progress in left field. Still, he was unable to produce consistently after being AL Rookie of the Year runner-up in 2018.
Andujar underwent shoulder surgery the following season — and was supplanted at third base by Gio Urshela, who was dealt to the Twins with Sanchez that spring — and has mostly shuttled between the Yankees and Triple-A since then. .