The Texas Rangers are casting a wide net while searching for help at third base, and the chance to acquire New York Yankees slugger Miguel Andujar is intriguing for the club, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports.
It's unclear if the two teams have discussed a trade, and the Yankees' price tag on the 24-year-old is expected to be high, according to Sullivan.
Assuming he's healthy, Andujar would give the Rangers a significant offensive boost. As a 23-year-old rookie in 2018, he slashed .297/.328/.527 with 27 homers, 47 doubles, and 92 RBIs en route to finishing second in AL Rookie of the Year voting. However, he struggled defensively in his first year, recording minus-25 defensive runs saved and a minus-16 ultimate zone rating.
Injuries limited him to just 12 games in 2019, and the Dominican underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in May. Andujar's absence allowed Gio Urshela to seize the Yankees' third-base job, and Urshela's breakout season is largely why Andujar could be expendable.
Andujar is under team control for another four years and isn't arbitration eligible until 2021, meaning he'll likely cost less than some of the top free-agent third basemen available.
The hot corner has become somewhat of a black hole for the Rangers following Adrian Beltre's retirement. Rangers third basemen played at a replacement level in 2019, as the five players used at the position last campaign combined for 0.0 WAR - the fourth-worst total in baseball - and a 77 wRC+.
Consequently, upgrading at third has become a priority for Texas. In addition to the Rangers' apparent interest in Andujar, the team has already been connected to All-Star free-agent third basemen Anthony Rendon and Josh Donaldson.