The Athletics announced that they have claimed infielder/outfielder Miguel Andujar off waivers from the Pirates and selected outfielder Lazaro Armenteros. The A’s also outrighted left-handers Anthony Kay and Easton Lucas, as well as right-handers Tayler Scott and Chad Smith to Triple-A Las Vegas. The move on Armenteros was reported last week.
Andujar, 29 in March, had a tremendous season with the Yankees in 2018, finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting to Shohei Ohtani. But since then, he hasn’t been given an extended stretch of playing time in the big leagues. Shoulder surgery put him out of action for much of 2019 and Gio Urshela stole the third base job in the Bronx while he was gone. Since then, he has generally crushed in the minors but struggled when given brief looks in the majors.
2023 continued that pattern, with Andujar in the Pirates organization. He was up in the majors for a couple of weeks from late April to mid-May but hit just .161/.212/.387. But his Triple-A season was far stronger, as he hit .338/.404/.536 at that level. He got back to the big leagues as a September call-up and was able to post an excellent line .302/.351/.528 in the final month of the season.
Given that encouraging finish, the Bucs could have held onto Andujar but he was projected for an arbitration salary of $2.2MM and is out of options. He was also limited to playing first base and the outfield corners in 2023, both in the majors and in the minors. The Pirates decided to move on but the A’s have come in to claim him.
The latter club has traded away their most established big leaguers in recent years, which perhaps makes Oakland the ideal landing spot for Andujar. He will be competing for playing time in the first base/corner outfield/designated hitter mix with Ryan Noda, Seth Brown, Brent Rooker, JJ Bleday and others. If he is finally able to click in the majors again, he can be retained for another season via arbitration, though the A’s would likely trade him in that scenario.
Kay, 28, was just claimed off waivers a couple of weeks ago. He has a 5.59 ERA in 85 1/3 career innings at the major league level. He tossed 40 2/3 innings in the minors this year, between the Mets and Cubs, with a 3.76 ERA in that time.
Lucas, 26, just came of the A’s in the deadline deal that sent Shintaro Fujinami to the O’s. He was added to the roster in early September and made his major league debut, allowing six earned runs in 6 2/3 innings. He tossed 46 2/3 frames in the minors for the year across different levels and organizations, with a 3.86 ERA across those clubs.
Scott, 31, was claimed off waivers from the Red Sox in July. He had a 5.60 ERA in the majors in 2023, splitting time between three different clubs. Between three different Triple-A clubs, he logged 38 1/3 innings with a 1.64 ERA.
Smith, 28, was acquired from the Rockies in the last offseason. He went on to throw 13 2/3 innings for the A’s in 2023 with a 6.59 ERA. His 34 2/3 innings in Triple-A didn’t go any better, with a 7.53 ERA in that time.