There was no Yankees baseball yesterday, but that did not mean they were completely idle.
The team swung a cash trade with the Oakland A’s for veteran first baseman Kendrys Morales in order to shore up their depth. He had been designated for assignment by the A’s May 13. The Yankees moved Jonathan Loáisiga (right shoulder strain) to the 60-day injured list to clear a 40-man roster spot.
The 35-year-old is a career .267/.328/.456 (111 wRC+) hitter in his career. In 37 games at Yankee Stadium, Morales owns a .239/.305/.377 line with five home runs.
This Morales trade appears to be an indictment on the future of Miguel Andújar this season. The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year runner-up once again hit the injured list because of the tear in the labrum of his right shoulder.
The Yankees and Andújar will make a decision about whether to attempt to rehab the shoulder or get season-ending surgery. Per Andy Martino of SNY, the Yankees have negotiated that Oakland will continue to pay Morales’ salary for this season as he’ll “audition” for designated hitter at-bats.
Yankees fans will most recently remember Morales for injuring Didi Gregorius on a play at first base in August 2018. Gregorius was attempting to beat out an infield single and collided with Morales at the bag.
Acquiring Morales is not a statement on Giancarlo Stanton‘s progress, however. There was some confusion between his actual injury, and Aaron Boone gave a ridiculous press conference trying to avoid disclosing what was actually going on.
It turns out there isn’t some massive conspiracy with Stanton, though. Boone was confused about whether a diagnosis he had received from the Yankees medical staff was still correct and decided against risking an erroneous report, per Martino. The team then announced Stanton’s injury promptly after the press conference.
Morales has 72 hours to report to the Yankees and will likely join the team for Friday’s opener with Tampa Bay in the Bronx.