TAMPA, Fla. -- One day after telling Manny Machado that he would "look good in pinstripes" next season, Aaron Judge said that he will let the Yankees' front office handle recruiting future free agents.Judge said that he received a call from general manager Brian Cashman on Wednesday evening, a few
TAMPA, Fla. -- One day after telling Manny Machado that he would "look good in pinstripes" next season, Aaron Judge said that he will let the Yankees' front office handle recruiting future free agents.
Judge said that he received a call from general manager Brian Cashman on Wednesday evening, a few hours after the American League Rookie of the Year spoke to Machado on the field before New York's 7-4 Grapefruit League loss to the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota.
"Cashman called me briefly. We spoke about it," Judge said. "He gave me a refresher that MLB is sensitive to that kind of stuff. I don't know about other guys, but it just kind of came up in passing. Now I know. Got a little refresher. You learn something new every day."
According to Cashman, MLB was concerned about the "optics" of having Judge recruit Machado, which could be construed as tampering.
A three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner who turns 26 in July, Machado is eligible for free agency following the 2018 season. Cashman said that he heard from Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem, who asked him to "politely talk to Aaron."
"We have been in contact with the Yankees," MLB said in a statement. "They communicated to us that Mr. Judge's off the cuff comments were not appropriate and not authorized by the club. They will speak to him to make sure that this does not happen again."
Judge and Cashman said that the issue is being chalked up as a lesson learned.
"I don't have any worries with Aaron Judge, and in general with most of our people," Cashman said. "I think Major League Baseball recognizes that our players have an added burden than most because they operate in a larger market. … I think Aaron Judge brings his 'A' game every day. You can't throw a perfect game every day, either."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.