Aaron Judge has now missed over a month since injuring his toe in Los Angeles on June 3rd. The Yankees slugger may eventually need surgery for the torn ligament in his right big toe, but the club is hoping that he can come back without that.
Judge is at about 80%, manager Aaron Boone said earlier this week, and that may be good enough if he wants to play through it. However, there may be an injury risk that keeps the reigning AL home run king on the shelf for longer.
WFAN’s Keith McPherson and Chris McMonigle of the Audacy Original Podcast “BXB” discussed Judge’s injury and whether or not the Yankees should sell at the trade deadline if things are looking bleak.
“Judge is going to try to tough it out but he might not be effective. He might not be the same guy,” McPherson said (10:35 in player above). “That’s another lost season. If you lose that guy, good luck.”
The Yankees beat the Dodgers 6-3 on June 3rd to move to 35-25 on the season. They are now at 48-40 after going 13-15 without Judge.
New York is still eight games above .500 and tied for the final wild-card spot in the AL, but the Yankees may only be able to tread water for so long.
“If they get news before the deadline, it’s so bad and I have no faith in this team without him, that it’s almost at the point if you know he’s not coming back, it’s sell time,” McMonigle said. “I don’t care what the record is. That’s how crazy impactful he is to this team.”
Offseason acquisition Carlos Rodon is slated to make his Yankees debut on Friday night. Nestor Cortes is also working his way back. If they can pitch well alongside Gerrit Cole, the Yankees might have a chance.
But that window is closing with each passing day that Judge is on the IL.
“There’s a chance pitching-wise they can sneak in but this team can’t win without Aaron Judge,” McMonigle continued, unless the Yankees make a big splash for someone like Shohei Ohtani or Juan Soto, but that’s a conversation for another day given the potential prospect package in return.
The trade deadline is still over three weeks away so the Yankees have some time to wait and see what their plans will be.