Add retired Gold Glove center fielder Lorenzo Cain to the growing list of people warning the New York Yankees that they should not make club captain Aaron Judge the full-time center fielder after the Bronx Bombers traded All-Star Juan Soto to the San Diego Padres.
taken back,Cain added that the Yankees should have Alex Verdugo or Trent Grisham as their Opening Day center fielder instead of Judge. New York acquired Verdugo via a trade with the Boston Red Sox before including Grisham in the Soto deal.Judge signed a nine-year, $360 million contract last December before suffering a strained right hip and torn ligaments in his right big toe during the 2023 season.
Yankees hitting coach Sean Casey and current Yankees play-by-play announcer Michael Kay have already expressed concerns about the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Judge next season due to his long injury history playing in midfield.
Meanwhile, Cain talked about how former teammate Whit Merrifield “started playing center a lot” after Cain left the Kansas City Royals following the 2017 season.”About a month into the season, [Merrifield] texted me, ‘Hey man, now I see you came to the bench and said you’re tired and your feet hurt. Now I get it,'” he remembered Cain.
Cain also noted that “midfield is very physically demanding” for any player, let alone one as big as Judge.Kay suggested on Thursday’s edition of “The Michael Kay Show” that Yankees senior vice president and general manager Brian Cashman could trade Verdugo and then play Grisham in center field.
Whatever Cashman’s plans and/or plans, it’s clear that the concern over Judge’s midfield patrols won’t go away until the new year arrives.