OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Aaron Judge can’t wait to get to spring training and start learning from new teammate Giancarlo Stanton.
The reigning AL Rookie of the Year alongside the NL MVP. What a sluggin’ 1-2 punch in the middle of the New York Yankees’ lineup — not to mention the daily entertainment during batting practice.
Judge, who grew up in California’s Central Valley and attended Fresno State, was at the Golden State Warriors’ game against Dallas on Thursday night and spoke about his club’s trade for Stanton this week.
“We’ve had a lot of acquisitions this off-season and I don’t think we’re done yet,” Judge told The Associated Press before the game. “We’re just adding not only great players but quality guys as well. I’ve gotten a chance to speak with Stanton. I saw him at the All-Star game and Home Run Derby. We’ve all seen what he does on the field but the kind of person he is and the value he will bring to this clubhouse, I’m looking forward to that. I’m excited for 2018. It’s going to be a fun year.”
The Yankees acquired Stanton on Monday from the payroll-shedding Marlins and new CEO Derek Jeter.
Stanton led the majors with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs last season, while Judge was second in homers with 52. New York topped baseball with 241 home runs.
“He’s an MVP,” Judge said of the 28-year-old Stanton, also a right fielder like Judge. “You can learn a lot from a guy like that, just kind of watching how he goes through his normal routine. I’m just looking forward to being around him. He’ll blend right into this team. We’ve got a good chemistry in the clubhouse. He’s going to be a great fit for New York.”
Stanton is owed $295 million over the final decade of his record $325 million, 13-year contract. The Marlins, with former Yankees star Jeter running the show, will send $30 million to the Yankees if Stanton doesn’t exercise his right to opt out of the deal and become a free agent after the 2020 season: $5 million each on July 1 and Oct. 1 in 2026, 2027 and 2028. Under a change in baseball’s new labour contract, that money will be prorated for the luxury tax and Stanton will count as $22 million annually.
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Janie McCauley, The Associated Press