Yankees’ Judge and Soto say they won’t participate in Home Run Derby

Aaron Judge and Juan Soto, both previous Home Run Derby winners, told Newsday on Thursday morning that they are both a firm “no” when it comes to this year’s event.

Judge, who won the Derby in Miami in 2017 as a rookie in his only time competing in it and entered Thursday with an MLB-leading 32 homers, has said in years past that he would only compete again when and if the All-Star Game returns to New York.

“Same answer,” Judge said with a smile in the locker room before the Yankees-Reds game at the stadium. “Only in New York.”

That’s unlikely to happen again in the near future, either in the Bronx or Queens.

The Yankees last hosted the All-Star Game in 2008, their last year at Yankee Stadium. Citi Field hosted the event in 2013 (Mariano Rivera, in his final season, was named the game’s MVP).

Soto, the 2022 Derby winner in Los Angeles, entered Thursday with 20 homers and said he briefly thought about participating.

But only briefly.

“No, not this year,” Soto said. “I’ve already participated twice in my career. That’s a good amount. For me, that’s it. I won it, I have my trophy and I’m fine with that.”

Giancarlo Stanton, on the disabled list since June 23 with a left hamstring strain but still with the team’s third-highest home run total (18), won the 2016 event in San Diego. Like Soto, he has participated in the Derby twice, defending his crown at Marlins Park in 2017. Stanton, who was eliminated that year by the Yankees’ Gary Sanchez in the first round of what was a laser show of a performance by both players, will be out at least another month with the injury. He said Thursday that, if healthy, he would have at least considered participating this year if he were a member of the American League All-Star team. Stanton, the 2022 All-Star Game MVP, seriously considered competing in that year’s event at Dodger Stadium, where the Los Angeles native grew up going to games, but ultimately decided against it.

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