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Aaron Judge could move to left to make room for Giancarlo Stanton to play more outfield

Aaron Judge (left) and Giancarlo Stanton are happy to move about as need be in the Yankees' outfield this coming season.David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Giancarlo Stanton may play right field at times in New York Yankees’ home games this year and Aaron Judge could be shifted to the more spacious left field 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 in Tampa. “Being in the outfield, you’re kind of more engaged in the game whereas DH you’re inside a lot of the time staying warm and hitting, and kind of watching the game from the TV as opposed to being out more engaged.”

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


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

Judge played 78 games in center last year and 73 in 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,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We’ll just see how that goes in letting that play out. No decision on that yet but it’s on my board.”

Stanton, 33, has battled a variety of injuries in four of his five seasons with New York . He was acquired from Miami following a 59-homer season in 2017. Stanton has topped 30 homers three times since but was been limited to 18 games in 2019 and 110 last year. The closest he’s come to 59 homers with the Yankees was 38 during his initial season with New York.


Stanton played 34 games in right last season and four in left — all on the road. He didn’t play the outfield after July 21, soon before he went on the injured list with left Achilles’ tendinitis.

Judge and Stanton get in some work in Tampa earlier this week. David J. Phillip/Associated Press

“You've got to stay healthy, you've got to stay out there,” Stanton said. “You've got be in a good rhythm throughout the months.”

Stanton still connected for 31 homers and drove in 78 runs last year.

“He’s capable of putting up massive numbers,” Boone said. That’s absolutely still in there.”

The Yankees haven’t reached the World Series since winning the 2009 title. They kept Judge with a $360 million, nine-year contract and added lefthander Carlos Rodón with a $162 million, six-year deal.

“We have all the pieces to get it done,” Stanton said. “We're laying the foundation, and understand the ultimate goal is a championship and we haven't got there."

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

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

Pirates guest suffers cardiac event while shagging flies

A guest of the Pittsburgh Pirates required emergency medical attention after suffering cardiac arrest while fielding fly balls on a practice field in Bradenton, Fla.

The Pirates say the guest was shagging balls at the team’s spring training complex when he had “a medical event” that required immediate attention and caused practice to stop.

Jacki Dezelski, president and CEO of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce in Bradenton, confirmed the man was a member of her group, which sometimes is invited to attend practices and retrieve balls near the fence during batting practice.


Dezelski said the man suffered cardiac arrest and was alert and talking later Tuesday following a procedure. She declined to identify the man until receiving permission from family members.

“He’s doing great, just come out of a procedure,” Dezelski told the Associated Press. “His wife is back with him now. He’s alert and talking as he was in the ambulance. He was fully alert.

“I guess in some ways, outside of a hospital, he was in the best place he could be to have this happen because he received such immediate medical attention.”

Pirates manager Derek Shelton praised the response of medical staff at the facility.

“They did an unbelievable job,” Shelton told reporters. “Our whole medical staff really jumped into action very quickly. We’re really fortunate we have that group of people in a scary incident they were on top of right away.”

Brewers bring aboard Voit, Naquin

First baseman Luke Voit and outfielder Tyler Naquin agreed to minor league contracts with the Milwaukee Brewers and will report to major league spring training in Phoenix.

Voit, 32, hit .226 with 22 homers, 69 RBIs, and a .402 slugging percentage in 135 games with San Diego and Washington last season. He became a free agent when the Nationals failed to offer a 2023 contract.

His best year came in pandemic-shortened 2020, when he led the majors with 22 homers and also had 52 RBIs and a .948 OPS for the New York Yankees.


Voit has signed a minor-league deal with the Brewers.Nick Wass/Associated Press

Voit has a .254 career average with a .476 slugging percentage, 95 homers, and 272 RBIs in 486 games with the Cardinals (2017-18), Yankees (2018-21), Padres, and Nationals.

The 31-year-old Naquin, who turns 32 on April 24, batted .229 with 11 homers, 46 RBIs, and a .423 slugging percentage in 105 games for the Reds and Mets last season.

He spent his first five seasons in Cleveland before joining the Reds in 2021.

Big money on table for Chapman

Aroldis Chapman can earn up to $8.75 million as part of his one-year contract with the Royals if he regains a job as a regular closer.

The lefthander, who turns 35 on Feb. 28, is guaranteed $3.75 million under the deal announced Jan. 27. Chapman can earn $2.5 million in performance bonuses based on games: $312,500 for 20 and for each additional five through 55. He also can earn $2.5 million based on games finished: $312,500 for 12 and for each additional four through 40.

He averaged 100.7 miles per hour on his fastball in 2016 but dropped below 100 m.p.h. in 2018 and was at a career-low 97.5 last season.

He was 4-4 with a 4.46 ERA last season for the Yankees, walking 28 and striking out 43 in 36⅓ innings.

Chapman had spent time on the injured list with Achilles’ tendinitis in May, then lost the closer job to Clay Holmes. He was on the IL again in August for a leg infection following a tattoo, then missed a mandatory team workout for the playoffs, and was left off the Division Series roster.


Alvarez’s ailing hand forces him to sit out

Astros All-Star Yordan Alvarez has a sore left hand that will keep him out of batting practice for a few days in spring training.

Alvarez told reporters soreness in the hand was an issue at times last year and continued to “flare up a bit at times” during the offseason.

Despite the soreness, Alvarez hit .306 with 37 homers and 97 RBIs and finished third in the AL MVP voting for the World Series champion Astros.

Speaking through a translator, Alvarez said he told team officials about the sore hand when he reported to camp.

“It’s just something we’re going to monitor,” said Alvarez, a native of Cuba. “I felt a little bit of discomfort but it’s something we’re going to monitor and work on. I’m going to take the next couple days off here like I did in the offseason and prepare but it’s not something that’s going to be an issue during the season.”

Nerves get better of Francona

Even after all these years, Terry Francona gets nervous before delivering the first speech of spring training to his players.

This season, it came with a price for Cleveland’s manager.

Francona broke a tooth while preparing to speak to the Guardians in Goodyear, Ariz. Because he wanted to work on his remarks, Francona skipped dinner with his staff Monday night to prepare. He made some pasta, but it was undercooked.

“It was frozen at the bottom and I broke part of my tooth,” he said following his speech. “At first I didn’t think I did. Then I started chewing and said, ‘That tastes awful.’ Not only did I swallow the tooth, I chewed it.”

Then, when he arrived at the team’s facility, Francona spilled coffee over his speech.

The hiccups aside, Francona, who is entering his 11th season with Cleveland, felt good about it afterward.

Francona had some issues addressing his team at the start of spring training.David Dermer/Associated Press

“I felt like I said what I wanted to say,” he said. “That’s the goal. I don’t want to just talk. Everybody has meetings. I want to help.”

Regan, 85, claims age discrimination

Phil Regan sued the Mets and former general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, alleging age discrimination and wrongful termination when he was moved out as pitching coach after the 2019 season.

Regan, a former big league pitcher who turns 86 in April, also claimed harassment and hostile work environment in a complaint filed Monday in New York Supreme Court in Queens.

“Phil came into an underperforming pitching staff and immediately righted the ship,” his lawyer, Matthew J. Blit, said in a statement Tuesday. “He helped lower the team ERA and brought the staff back to where it was supposed to be. Instead of rewarding him for his masterful performance he was tossed aside because of his age.”

Regan was 96-81 with a 3.84 ERA with four teams from 1960-72 and was an All-Star in 1966. He managed the Orioles to a 71-73 record and third-place finish in the AL East during the strike-shortened 1995 season.

He joined the Mets organization as pitching coach of Class A St. Lucie in 2009 and became minor league pitching coordinator in 2016.

New York fired pitching coach Dave Eiland on June 20, 2019, when the team was fourth in the NL East at 35-39 with a big league-high 16 blown saves and a 4.67 ERA, 20th among the 30 big league clubs. Regan became interim pitching coach and the Mets lowered their ERA to 4.24 by the end of the season.

Regan was replaced Dec. 8 by Jeremy Hefner, who was 33 at the time and still holds the job. Regan claimed in the suit the Mets offered him a minor league contract at reduced terms. Regan was listed last season as senior adviser, pitching development.

“BVW specifically informed Mr. Regan that he wasn’t being retained because of his age,” the suit said, referring to Van Wagenen by his initials.

The Mets declined comment and Van Wagenen, who was fired when Steve Cohen bought the team in November 2020, did not respond to a text message seeking comment.

Strider goes wild over 99

Braves righthander Spencer Strider has changed his number from 65 to 99 for his second season.

The hard-throwing Strider finished second to teammate Michael Harris II in the NL Rookie of the Year voting and then plotted a uniform number change. He was inspired by the hard-throwing fictional star of the baseball movie “Major League.”

“Picking your jersey number in baseball to me has always been something of importance and my favorite movie is ‘Major League’ and I like Rick Vaughn, so I see some similarities between Wild Thing and myself,” Strider said.

Strider, 24, was signed to a $75 million, six-year contract after posting an 11-5 record and 2.67 ERA in 31 games, including 20 starts. He had 202 strikeouts in 131⅔ innings while giving up 86 hits.