Yankees mull move Judge to left field, Stanton to right field

TAMPA, Fla. — Giancarlo Stanton may play right field at times in New York Yankees home games this year and Aaron Judge could be moved to left field more widely in the Bronx.

“I think I have more of a flow when I’m in the outfield,” Stanton said Tuesday after the Yankees’ second full-squad workout. “When you’re out on the field, you’re kind of more involved in the game but DH you’re inside a lot of the time staying warm and hitting, and kind of watching the game on TV instead of being out more.”

Gold Glove winner Harrison Bader, acquired at last year’s trade deadline, figures to get most of the starts in center.

Bader was injured at the time he was acquired, but when he was active, he was a key player in the Yankees offense. During the postseason, he led the team with five home runs and a .333 batting average.

“If we need to put Big G in right field at Yankee Stadium, move me to left, I don’t mind,” Judge said. “I don’t mind changing around, so we can have Bader, me and the Big G out there. Hopefully we’ll have some (game) reps in spring training and be comfortable out there.”

The Judge played 78 games in the center last year and 73 games on the right. He hasn’t played left field since 2016 at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

“I’m open to things like that, especially in the home ballpark,” Boone said. “We’ll just see how that goes to let that play out. There’s no decision on that yet but it’s on my agenda.”

Stanton battled various injuries in four of his five seasons with New York. He was acquired from Miami after a 59-homer season in 2017 with the Marlins.

Stanton has hit the 30-homer mark three times now but was limited to 18 games in 2019 and 110 last year. The closest he came to 59 homers with the Yankees was 38 during his first season with New York.

Stanton played 34 games in right last season and four in left — all on the road. He did not play the outfield after July 21, shortly before going on the injured list with left Achilles tendinitis.

“You have to stay healthy, you have to stay out there,” Stanton said. “You have a good rhythm during the months.”

Stanton was still tied for 31 homers and drove in 78 runs during last year’s injury-riddled season.

“He’s capable of putting up huge numbers,” Boone said. “That’s totally still there.”

The Yankees have not reached the World Series since winning the title in 2009. They kept Judge to a nine-year, $360 million contract and added left-hander Carlos Rodon to a six-year, $162 million contract.

“We have all the pieces to do it,” Stanton said. “We are laying the foundations, and we understand that the ultimate goal is a championship and we didn’t get there.”

Stanton, 33, admits the pressure has increased to win his first World Series ring.

“I need to get it, but at the same time we need to do it,” said Stanton. “That’s what I came here for, and that’s what I’m here to achieve every year.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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