Cortes: Yankees should name judge captain if he re-signs

New York Yankees left-hander Nestor Cortes thinks the club should name star outfielder Aaron Judge as the 16th captain in franchise history — provided the pending free agent decides to re-sign this offseason.

“He meant it all,” Cortes said of Judge’s importance to the Yankees in 2022, per SNY. “I think I can say that if he’s back here next year, he’s our captain. He’s the next captain.”

The Yankees have been without a team captain since Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter retired at the end of the 2014 campaign.

Cortes believes Judge’s presence and leadership in the clubhouse would make him a natural choice as team captain.

“We follow everything he does,” Cortes said. “He leads by example. He’s not really a guy who comes down and yells at anybody, but if he has to, that’s his job. I think he’s earned that right from us control.”

Judge is the author of one of the greatest offensive seasons in Yankees history in 2022. The 30-year-old set the American League record with 62 home runs and is a heavy favorite to win his first MVP award career this fall.

Cortes admires how Judge treats all of his teammates with the same level of respect.

“He’s a great baseball player, but he’s a better human,” Cortes said. “He treats everyone the same. He follows everyone every day. That’s what allows him to be who he is.”

Judge rejected New York’s $213.5 million seven-year extension offer on the eve of the season and is expected to be the star of the offseason free agent market.

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