LAKELAND, Fla. – Miguel Andujar's eyes widen when asked what he thinks of the $ 260-million, eight-year deal the Rockies awarded to third-baseman Nolan Arenado this week to keep him out of the free goal.
"Good for him, I want to be like that one day," said Andujar, smiling, in English, after the Yankees lost a 10-4 rain-reduced defeat to the Tigers on Wednesday at Publix Field. "Joking aside, I want to enjoy the game and do my best."
Andujar, 24, is far from having signed the contract signed by Arenado, but after finishing second in last year's rookie of the year, when he hit .297 with 27 homers and 92 points produced and recorded a score of 0, 855. – the foundation was sunk.
And now, the Yankees will need him to rely on this after refusing Manny Machado's signature in stand-alone mode and that Arena will no longer be on the market next season. The Yankees say they believe in Andujar, and a repeat of last season will only reinforce this idea.
Now, having spent the off-season working for his defense with field coach Carlos Mendoza, and trying to improve his actions before the match, Andujar wants more.
"I have been positive from the beginning and I understand the questions [about Machado and Arenado]but at the same time, I must continue to do what helps me to progress, "said Andujar through a translator.
Aaron Boone said he believed the winter sessions in Andujar would bear fruit.
"I think he was very good at putting himself in very good physical condition. I think [he has] a very good understanding of the things he wants to work on, "said Boone." I think he understands the things he wants to improve on. "
Speaking of Gleyber Torres and Andujar, Boone said he did not want young infielders to believe they had to do as well, if not better, than a year ago. Torres hit .271 with 24 homers and 77 RBIs and earned a .820 OPS before finishing third in the Rookies of the Year vote.
"I do not want them to feel like [they] last year, "said Boone. "You always work on your art and your game to become a better player. I do not want them to feel "I have to go out and do that". I think that if their process is solid and they work on their game in the right way, it will be long term. "