Juan Soto’s Arrival Prompts Yankees to Shift Aaron Judge to Center FieldDecember 7, 2023
Juan Soto, despite being great at batting, does not have a high rating as a defender. In his career, he has played left and right field, but Yankee Stadium’s spacious left field suggests that he will spend most of his time in right field. The recently acquired outfielder, Alex Verdugo, is better suited for the corners, particularly in left field.
Trent Grisham, another outfielder acquired by the Yankees, is recognized for his defensive abilities. Although his hitting has been below average in the last two years, Cashman, the General Manager, emphasized his potential as a quality player and a championship-caliber piece. Aaron Judge, who excels in center field, is expected to start the season as the Yankees’ centerfielder.
In a scenario where Jasson Dominguez needs to recover from UCL surgery, Judge will continue playing in center. Grisham and Verdugo are free agents after the 2024 season, which could lead to opportunities for corner outfield spots. Cashman mentioned that pitching is currently the team’s top priority and that they may not be adding more outfielders. The manager also commented on Giancarlo Stanton’s efforts to become a reliable option in the outfield again by focusing on his physical condition and athleticism.