It may be wishful thinking, but New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is airing on the side of caution when it comes to any possible pursuit of free-agent megastar Bryce Harper.
In a TMZ interview on Monday, Judge made it known that he wouldn’t mind seeing the former Washington National patrolling the outfield at Yankee Stadium come the springtime.
“Any time you can add an MVP to a team, it’s going to make them better… it all depends on where he wants to go,” Judge said.
Both Judge and Harper play right field, which would force one of them to make the move to center.
“Where he wants to play, wherever he wants to play— we’ll make it work,” he added.
The Yankees outfield is already experiencing a log jam considering the amount of talent it has ahead of the 2019 season. Judge is already backed up by every-day DH Giancarlo Stanton. In center field, Aaron Hicks is coming off a 27 home-run season while the Yankees brought back veteran Brett Gardner for a 12th season in left. Prospect Clint Frazier, who has made his way back from concussion issues, is also in the pipeline as well.
Judge’s wish likely won’t come to fruition, though his comments have raised a few eyebrows.
During yet another MLB offseason that has dragged in terms of the signing of big-name free agents, Harper is still out there as one of the game’s best players. While he was initially linked to the Yankees at the start of the offseason, interest has cooled to the point of dormancy over the past few months.
In the meantime, the Philadelphia Phillies have become the clear-cut favorites to sign Harper, who also recently met with the San Diego Padres.
The Yankees have been more involved in the Manny Machado sweepstakes instead, seeing as the 26-year-old All-Star infielder would be an immediate upgrade and replacement for the recovering Didi Gregorius.
New York is considered one of the finalists for Machado, who also met with the Phillies and Chicago White Sox back in December. However, the market has not been to his liking as a report from Jon Heyman revealed that he is not happy with his current offers and he “may still have long-shot hopes for the preferred Yankees.”
Along with Harper, Machado was expected to at least make around $300 million on his new contract this winter, but the slow market has indicated that the former Baltimore Oriole and Los Angeles Dodger hasn’t gotten anything near that. It is playing perfectly into the Yankees’ hands, as they made it known that they are not going to blow the bank on Machado considering they are already paying a monster contract in Stanton’s.
Heyman noted though that Machado going to the Yankees is “unlikely to happen now.”