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Athletics claim Miguel Andujar off waivers from Pirates

Let the offseason begin

MLB: Miami Marlins at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland made their first notable move of the offseason this afternoon as the club claimed Miguel Andujar off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates:

The former top prospect now joins his third organization in his pro career. Andujar was once among the very top prospects in the New York Yankees minor league system and made his big league debut in 2017. The next season he was an everyday player for the Yankees and had a great rookie season, coming in second place for Rookie of the Year (behind Shohei Ohtani).

Unfortunately the injury big bit Andujar the next season as he severely injured his shoulder. It would end up being a career-altering injury as Andujar hasn’t look anything like the player that he was in his rookie season. He made it into a handful of games for the Yankees over the next four seasons but he was mostly in Triple-A during that period. He requested a trade in 2022 and a couple months later he was with the Pirates for 9 September games. His time there didn’t last long as he ultimately only played in another 30 games in ‘23.

Andujar came up as a third baseman but hasn’t played meaningful innings there in years, mostly finding his playing time in the corner outfield spots. On the bright side for him he lit up Triple-A last year to a slash line of .338/.404/.536 16 home runs. He also drew 47 walks while only striking out 55 times. Intriguing numbers.

With Oakland in rebuilding mode the team can afford to take a chance on players like Andujar. He likely can’t be considered a legitimate option for third base but the soon-to-be 29-year old has experience at first base as well as the outfield corners, and there’s always the DH slot. If Andujar can provide offense, the club will find a spot for him in the lineup.

All in all it’s a decent little roll of the dice. Andujar was once a top prospect in the sport and performed at the highest level before a devastating shoulder injury derailed a promising career. Here’s to hoping the A’s found a diamond in the rough.

That wasn’t all the roster news today. The club also added young outfield prospect Lazaro Armenteros to the 40-man roster to protect him from the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. ‘Lazarito’ had stalled a bit in the lower minors but finally made it to Double-A this past season, to encouraging results as well.

Oakland needs to protect potential impact prospects like him so this is a good move. If the 24-year old can keep up the improvement there’s even a chance we see him at some point in 2024.

The club needed to free up some roster spots to add these two and they did that and then some. Left-handers Anthony Kay and Easton Lucas and righties Tayler Scott and Chad Smith were outrighted off the roster. None of these pitchers were around long for the club this past year, while Kay was actually only just added to the roster a little over a week ago.