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

Aaron Judge and Juan Soto, each a past winner of the Home Run Derby, told Newsday Thursday morning they are both definitive “no’s” when it comes to this year’s event.

Judge, who won the Derby in Miami in 2017 as a rookie in his one and only time competing in it and who entered Thursday with an MLB-leading 32 homers, has said in past years 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 clubhouse before the Yankees-Reds game at the Stadium. “Only in New York.”

That likely won’t happen again any time soon, either in the Bronx or Queens.

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

Soto, the Derby winner in 2022 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 participated twice in my career already. 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 injured list since June 23 with a left hamstring strain but still with the third-highest homer total on the team (18), won the 2016 event in San Diego. Like Soto, he’s done the Derby twice, defending his crown at Marlins Park in 2017. Stanton, who was knocked out 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 on Thursday, if healthy, he would have at least considered participating this year if he was a member of the AL’s All-Star squad. 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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