- Juan Soto was acquired by the Yankees in a 7-player deal with the Padres
- The Yankees are loaded with overall outfield talent, but not a true center fielder
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Former New York Yankees hitting coach and Major League Baseball first baseman Sean Casey believes the team acquiring Juan Soto puts Aaron Judge in an unideal situation.
‘No. I do not want Judgie as my center fielder,’ Casey said. ‘I just think center field is so demanding, dude, it’s so demanding, and he’s such a big guy.’
‘And to have to demand him to go so far in the gaps and be on the run, you have to cover more ground as a center fielder, the wear and tear on his body, I don’t like it,’ Casey continued.
‘I don’t like Judgie in center, though, I really don’t,’ Casey stated. ‘I don’t think [Yankees manager Aaron Boone] does, either.’
Judge has played right field for most of his tenure with the Yankees, as has Soto. The Yankees also have Giancarlo Stanton and acquired Alex Verdugo in Wednesday’s 7-player trade with the San Diego Padres.
Former Yankees hitting coach Sean Casey doesn’t want Aaron Judge to play center field
The 6-foot-7 Judge has been a right fielder for almost all of his professional career thus far
Traditionally, the Yankees have wanted a defensively-sound center fielder with how much ground there is to make up in the gaps with the definitions of Yankee Stadium, which is uniquely consistent in between the foul poles.
With one of New York’s outfield quartet taking over as designated hitter, there’s no room for a defense-first player in the outfield, something Judge, Soto, Verdugo, nor Stanton are.
Judge is 6-foot-7 and will be 32 in April. That’s not exactly traditional characteristics for a successful center fielder.
‘We’ll see how everything shakes out this winter, but yeah, I wouldn’t rule that out,’ Boone said Wednesday about Judge taking over in center field.
‘I’ve talked to Aaron about that. I think Aaron’s open to anything and ready for anything. So, we’ll see,’ Boone continued. ‘You never know where the rest of the winter goes, but Aaron in center is certainly in play.’