All along, attached speculation to the Yankees potential signing of Manny Machado has come with Miguel Andujar enduring the largest impact of the move - a trade out of New York.
However, there is a distinct chance that the Yankees hold onto Andujar - at least in the short term - should they sign Machado and consequently unavoidable fallout to the rest of the roster. The Yankees will not trade Andujar for just anyone. The starting pitchers worth Andujar's talent might not necessarily be available in trade and certain clubs may not be willing to deal with New York.
Keeping Andujar presents some issues (not all necessarily bad) for the Yankees.
Clogged DH spot
With Troy Tulowitzki on the roster, if Machado is signed, the only clear spot for Andujar is at designated hitter where he could certainly thrive. The addition of Machado at third base, where he has elite defensive talent and the removal of Andujar's deficient glove while keeping his bat in the lineup is appealing. The Yankees could test Andujar at first base, but they already have two players - Greg Bird and Luke Voit - ready to battle for the role and might become a platoon of sort.
The issue here is that the Yankees were conceivably ready to juggle DH at-bats between Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Bird and Voit. Also, what happens when Didi Gregorius returns in the summer? Adding Andujar to the mix - really, putting him at the top of the DH list - creates a snowball effect with playing time.
Outfield defense takes hit
The Yankees didn't re-sign Brett Gardner to a $7.5 million contract to primarily sit on the bench and the deal surely meant more than to provide advice in the clubhouse. The Yanks believe Gardner maintains significant value as a defender and his ability to work counts to get on base cannot be ignored.
If Stanton loses reps at DH, he'll surely take up playing time (mainly in left field) with Judge cemented in right field, thus reducing Gardner to a bench role for a majority of games. Gardner could spell center fielder Aaron Hicks on occasion, but any way it is drawn up the Yankees will prefer Stanton and Hicks in the lineup more often than Gardner and that means downgraded defense in left field, which is not an easy position to man in Yankee Stadium.
Devalues players that need a value boost
Some will argue that the Yankees need not worry about Jacoby Ellsbury. The thought is that Ellsbury will be "saddled" with some sort of phantom injury and he'll be out of the picture as he was in 2018. The Yankees then collect insurance money and problem solved.
I honestly don't think either party see it that way, and the only way for the Yankees to demonstrate that Ellsbury is worth anything to another club is to provide him some playing time. That opportunity becomes sparse as the fifth outfielder.
The ripple effect takes hold of Clint Frazier's role and future value as well with him being pushed down the depth chart. Concussion recovery aside, Frazier is reaching the stage in his career that he has to play in the major leagues soon or be surpassed by the next wave of minor leaguers. Frazier's value, should the Yankees want to trade him, might not be increased by the ability to hit Triple-A pitching, but rather by demonstrating the capability to thrive in the big leagues.
The adage "it will work itself out" is surely true in baseball. Injuries come along and the ability to maneuver players around is tantamount to success of a ball club. So, while the depth is a good thing in a vacuum, even if Yankees manager Aaron Boone is able to adroitly juggle the players, there might not be enough reps for everyone to stay fresh and productive.
However, the ability to trade Andujar straight off signing Machado is not assured and the former's offensive proclivity ranks above the backlog if he's on the roster. As such, the fallout will go well beyond the young third baseman and how the Yankees respond will be a component of its success.