Yankees’ Miguel Andujar faces setback in roster battle, needs to see specialist for lingering issue

New York Yankees infielder/outfielder Miguel Andujar entered this year’s spring training camp on the roster bubble. His path to a roster spot just became even more difficult.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters on Sunday, including The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler, that Andujar will see a hand specialist Monday after dealing with hand and wrist soreness in spring training. Andujar said he felt a similar sensation in his wrist while playing in the Dominican Winter League during the offseason, but has noticed more soreness recently.

Although we don’t know the extent of a potential injury, the setback is worrisome for the 25-year-old Andujar. He was already going to have an uphill battle to win a spot on the Yankees’ 2021 Opening Day roster, and this hand soreness could hurt his chances for a future with the Yankees.

Andujar has gotten reps in the infield (first, third base) and outfield during spring training, but his overall role for the 2021 MLB season is still unclear. He spent most of the abbreviated 2020 season at the team’s alternate training site. In the 21 big-league games he did play, he hit .242/.277/.355 (74 OPS+) and played six games at third base and seven in left field. 

The Yankees kept Andujar at the alternate site long enough last year to push back his free agency and avoid Super Two status — Andujar will now become a free agent after 2024 rather than after 2023. At this time, this angered Andujar’s agent who made his frustrations clear. It should be noted that in early February, Andujar hired The MAS+ Agency and reunited with agent Francis Marquez, who repped him in 2017 and 2018. CBS Sports’ Mike Axisa identified Andujar as a player who could request a trade, though it’s unclear if Andujar’s agent change indicates that he would like to remain with the ball club,

When spring training camp began this year, Boone said that Andujar’s role would likely depend on opportunities that arise during the season, meaning that it might take an injury for Andujar to get his next big-league role. Since the Yankees have committed to Gio Urshela — who took over after Andujar was shut down due to shoulder surgery in 2019 — as their primary third baseman, the 2018 AL Rookie of the Year runner-up is blocked at the hot corner. He can help in the outfield or as designated hitter, but with Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier and Giancarlo Stanton all healthy again, Andujar is likely to be stymied from getting regular at-bats at those spots as well.

The Yankees will look to end their 11-year World Series drought in 2021. Here’s the projected lineup, rotation and three things to know with the pressure on to bring the championship back to the Bronx.

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