Owing to the lack of outfield depth, Brian Cashman, the New York Yankees general manager, promised to acquire two outfielders this off-season. A few hours later, Cashman pulled off a trade that brought Alex Verdugo to the Bronx. Another 24 hours later, the team landed generational talent Juan Soto, one of the biggest trades of the off-season so far.
Juan Soto, the 25-year-old established left-handed hitter and one of the best outfielders in the league, will don the pinstripes in 2024. However, Soto’s addition turned the club’s outfield plans upside down. Captain Aaron Judge is likely to face the burn of the new dynamics as his center field move was recently confirmed by the club’s GM Brian Cashman.
Brian Cashman Confirms Aaron Judge’s Alleged Center Field Move For 2024 Season!
In the aftermath of the monumental trade that brought Juan Soto to the New York Yankees, there are significant implications for the team’s outfield configuration. One of the notable developments is the expectation that Aaron Judge will transition into the role of an everyday center fielder. Judge played 18 games in center last season due to injury woes. Earlier, in 2022, the captain fielded in center 78 times owing to a lack of depth. Now, in 2024, the slugger is likely to move to the center full-time. The general idea is that Juan Soto will move to right-field with Alex Verdugo in left and Judge in center.
However, moving Aaron Judge into a full-time center field role will come with its own set of risks. Since the past couple of seasons, Judge has been highly susceptible to injuries due to increased workload. Thus, the move to the center would only add to the susceptibility. The importance of Judge’s presence in the Yankee lineup cannot be understated. The entire 2023 season campaign was derailed after the captain landed on IL with a torn ligament injury. However, the compilation of roster construction will force the Yankees to make desperate moves. Having said that, the dynamics could change after Jasson Dominguez returns from IL. He is likely to return to the mix immediately after IL reinstatement. Once Dominguez returns, he would move to center field, thus allowing Judge to rest.
Hal Steinbrenner Excited To Have Juan Soto In Yankees!
After pulling off the historic trade, New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner broke his silence for the first time. Through an email sent to the New York Post, Steinbrenner said that he is excited to have the generational talent in the Bronx. There aren’t many players in the league who could solely elevate a team’s championship-winning chances. But Soto is that kind of rare talent.
“For all the reasons that anyone who has followed his career knows, we are excited to have Juan in the Bronx,” said Hal Steinbrenner. The New York Yankees have a reputation for landing high-end names, and this off-season has been nothing different. While the club landed Soto, their next target was Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The team could land him in a contract worth anywhere around $200-300 million.