Aaron Judge could be the next Yankees captain

SAN DIEGO – Now that Aaron Judge is returning to the Yankees, the next question surrounding the reigning AL MVP is whether he will be the team’s first captain since Derek Jeter.

It’s considered possible, and the decision rests with managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner.

Steinbrenner told the YES Network last month that making Judge the captain “is something we would consider” if he were to re-sign with the Yankees.

At different times during the offseason, teammates like Anthony Rizzo and Nestor Cortes have endorsed the idea, and general manager Brian Cashman did the same during winter training Wednesday.

“Some people have already acted like untitled captains,” Cashman said. “We already have a franchise leader [in Judge]. If someone at the level of an owner like Hal Steinbrenner wants to take over [on Judge], no problem from me. Aaron Judge has been the leader of this franchise in every way, shape and form.

Aaron Judge may be the next Yankees captain.
Aaron Judge may be the next Yankees captain.

That contrasts with Cashman’s insistence in the spring that after Jeter’s resignation, the team should not have another captain.

“As far as I’m concerned, and I’m not the decision-maker, this captaincy should be retired with No. 2,” Cashman said in 2015. “I wouldn’t have given the captaincy to anyone else. … He was too good and too good for it.

Cashman acknowledged the statement on Wednesday and insisted he had no role in the decision.

“He was an all-time captain,” Cashman said of Jeter. “Of course, I shared my feelings out of respect for Derek Jeter and his career and his legacy. I thought it fair to say that I’m not sure if we need any more. But this does not mean that it will appear if someone is worthy [that they shouldn’t be captain]. And in Aaron Judge’s work, he’s amazing.”

Cashman added, “I support whatever resolution they want.”

The Yankees lost a pair of right-handed pitchers in the Rule 5 Draft as Wilking Rodriguez was selected by the Cardinals and Zach Green went to the Mets.

Rodriguez, 32, had not pitched in the Yankees system since 2015, when he was with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He spent most of the last seven seasons in Mexico.

Green, 26, had a 3.42 ERA in 48 games with SWB last season.

They didn’t take a single player in the draft.


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