Newly acquired Drury now front-runner to play 3B for Yankees
By MARK DIDTLER
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Newly acquired Brandon Drury is the now the favorite to be the starting third baseman for the New York Yankees.
The Yankees acquired Drury from Arizona on Tuesday night in a three-team deal that also involved Tampa Bay. Drury played mostly second base for Arizona, but came up through the minors at third.
"Nothing is going to be given to anybody, but going into the process he's going to have a leg up given the fact that he's had two years of major league experience that he can fall back on plus postseason experience," Yankees general manager Cashman said Wednesday. "I think all those things will serve him well."
Prospect Miguel Andujar was a leading candidate at third before the trade for Drury was completed.
"Andujar is a high-end skilled player that we think is going to have a very long and successful career in the big leagues, and we believe it's going to be here with us," Cashman said. "His hitting abilities are ahead currently of his defensive abilities because he moved himself up so fast. This allows us, if we so choose, to buy more (development) time."
Andujar, through a translator, said he is not disappointed by the trade.
"We've got to welcome him here in the clubhouse," Andujar said. "I've got keep working hard. The addition of another player, another teammate doesn't change my plans."
The 25-year-old Drury also has experience in the corner outfield spots, but the Yankees are well stocked there.
Drury hit .267 with 13 home runs and 63 RBIs in 135 games for Arizona last season.
"We believe there's some more gas in that tank," Cashman said. "I know our pro scouts really are high on his potential. They dream on a little bit, so we're going to dream on a little bit, too."
Drury is scheduled to work out with the Yankees on Thursday.
Arizona received outfielder Steven Souza Jr. from Tampa Bay and minor league right-hander Taylor Widener from New York. The Yankees sent second baseman Nick Solak to the Rays.
"We gave up two players we really like," Cashman said. "We think both of these players have a lot of upside. We feel like we gave up a lot but we're plugging in an area of need and excited about what we're getting, too."
Yankees manager Aaron Boone expects RF Aaron Judge to start playing in games in about a week. The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year had offseason left shoulder surgery.
LOOKING FOR AN ARM
Cashman feels the Yankees pitching side is pretty strong but he continues to evaluate available pitchers.
"If I can add another starter, great," Cashman said. "There's a reason we haven't done it, not because we haven't had an interest, just didn't like the price tag associated with it."
TAKING THE MOUND
Updated February 21, 2018