Judge thinks Yankees championship-caliber without Machado

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Aaron Judge thinks the New York Yankees have a championship-caliber team without Manny Machado.

“We weren’t in the position I felt like that we really needed to go out there and grab too many big pieces,” the Yankees slugger said after Tuesday’s first full-squad workout. “We were just in a position where we just needed to add maybe one or two key guys and bring back a couple key guys that are just going to get us over the hump, and I feel like we did that.”

A person familiar with the negotiations speaking on condition of anonymity to the Associated Press confirmed that Machado agreed to a $300 million, 10-year deal with the San Diego Padres. The person said the agreement was subject to a successful physical and had not been announced.

The Yankees had met with Machado in the offseason, but didn’t appear to make a formal offer to the star infielder.

“My take on it is, San Diego signed a really great player,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I think we have a great club. I think we’re deep. Sitting here last year I felt like we had a really good team. As I sit here today, I feel like we’re a stronger team based on the moves we made this winter.”

New York’s 100-62 record in Boone’s first season as manager was its best since winning the 2009 World Series. New York added left-hander James Paxton, reliever Adam Ottavino, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and infielder DJ LeMahieu, and also re-signed starters CC Sabathia and J.A. Happ along with reliever Zack Britton.

“The lineup and the team that we have is pretty darn good,” Judge said. “We won 100 games. I’m excited for our team.”

Judge knows the team goal is always the same.

“We came up a little short last season,” Judge said. “It’s always a disappointment any time we don’t win a World Series. You always want to be that team, the last one standing. That will be our goal again this year.”

Judge said he hasn’t heard about any proposals for a long-term contract.

“I’m focused on the season,” Judge said.

Judge also said his shoulder, which was operated on during the 2017 offseason, and wrist that sidelined him last season are both 100 percent.

“That’s the thing I kind of was looking for,” Judge said. “Getting a chance to actually have a normal offseason because the year before, going into ’18, dealing with shoulder surgery and the majority of my time was spent rehabbing that.”

Judge didn’t start swinging a bat last year until arriving in Florida.

Judge will be working for the second straight spring training on hitting with former NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton.

“The biggest thing is his approach,” Judge said. “That’s one thing I really enjoyed watching. You see why he won an MVP, why he’s an All-Star. That’s the biggest thing I got from ‘G,’ was different approaches.”

“I’d try and share them, but I’ve got to keep a couple secret,” a smiling Judge added.


Reliever Danny Farquhar, coming back from a brain hemorrhage stemming from a ruptured aneurysm last April 20, has started throwing to hitters. “Can only imagine the emotions running through him,” Boone said.


Boone said MLB executive and former Yankees manager Joe Torre will be at camp Wednesday. The manager plans to talk with Yankees’ pitchers about the 20-second pitch clock to be used at spring training.