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CLEVELAND – For the first time since making his latest trade request, Miguel Andujar returned to the Yankees on Saturday, if only for the day.
Called up as the 27th man for the Yankees’ doubleheader against the Guardians, Andujar declined to confirm or elaborate on the trade request he made after getting sent down to Triple-A last month.
“I’ve been playing this game for a long time and I want to play at this level,” Andujar said through an interpreter Saturday morning at Progressive Field. “The exact details of the conversation, I want to keep those private.”
Andujar, who was in the lineup batting fifth and playing left field for the first game of Saturday’s twinbill, was asked whether it was still his desire to be traded to a team that would give him consistent playing time in the majors.
“I really enjoy playing baseball and I really enjoy playing at this level,” Andujar said. “At the same time, I gotta focus on what I can control. Let that be the main focus, keep playing as hard as I can and I know opportunities will come down the road at some point.”
The 27-year-old Andujar, who was last optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on June 3, did not let any disappointment or frustration about it affect his production at the plate. In his latest stint with the RailRiders, he was batting .351 with a .936 OPS across 19 games.
“It’s not easy when you have to go back and you feel like you belong here,” manager Aaron Boone said. “But to his credit, he’s gotten after it down there and earned this opportunity yet again.”
In 12 games with the Yankees this season, Andujar was batting .268 with a .596 OPS while playing solid defense in left field. The Yankees have not gotten much offensive production from their left fielders this season – six different starters there have combined for a slash line of .200/.306/.312 – especially with Joey Gallo continuing to struggle.
While the club could look to address that issue before the Aug. 2 trade deadline, it remains to be seen whether Andujar could also be on the move before then.
In the meantime, Andujar believes his swing is back to where it was in 2018 when he was the runner-up for AL Rookie of the Year to Shohei Ohtani.
“Definitely, I believe so,” Andujar said. “I think playing consistently has helped as well. Having the opportunity to play consistently has gotten me back to where I feel very comfortable in the box right now.”