Yankees activate Aaron Judge after 42-game absence: How this affects their trade deadline strategy

The New York Yankees activated outfielder Aaron Judge for Friday night’s contest against the Baltimore Orioles, the club announced. Here’s what you need to know:

  • New York optioned infielder Oswald Peraza to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in a corresponding roster move.
  • When asked Wednesday if the team planned to activate Judge on Friday, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he “wouldn’t rule anything out,” but that the team is “taking it day by day.”
  • Judge has been sidelined with a right toe injury since June 4. The Yankees went 19-23 in his absence.

The Athletic’s instant analysis:

What Judge’s return means for the lineup

This is obvious but Judge’s return is the biggest addition the Yankees can make before the trade deadline. They’ve desperately missed him. They’re 19-23 since Judge tore a ligament in his right big toe. They have MLB’s fourth-worst offense since then, with only Pittsburgh, Colorado and Kansas City worse than New York. Since June 4, only four Yankees with at least 90 plate appearances have a wRC+ over 100: Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Billy McKinney, Gleyber Torres and Anthony Volpe.

It’s hard to win games when the Yankees’ veterans who they’re relying on, like Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu and Anthony Rizzo, have been absent. Perhaps with Judge’s return, those three veterans can start seeing better pitches and start performing to expectations. — Kirschner

What it means for the trade deadline

A big part of Judge’s return is that he wants to be back. He understands the current urgency throughout the organization to win games and prove that it deserves to be a buyer at Tuesday’s trade deadline. The 31-year-old wants to be back in the lineup as soon as he can and show the Yankees that he’s ready to carry them, to help persuade owner Hal Steinbrenner that they can not just make the playoffs, but advance deep into them.

there’s this: Judge will want to learn quickly whether he can play on his injured toe. He hasn’t ruled out surgery in the offseason. — Kuty


Yankees trade deadline primer: 5 key questions for a team in limbo


Judge suffered a bruise and ligament strain in his right big toe on June 3 after crashing through the outfield fence while making a running catch during a game against the Dodgers. Before landing on the IL one day later, Judge posted an American League-best 19 home runs to go along with 40 RBIs and a .291 batting average in 49 games.

The Yankees enter Friday’s game against the division-leading Orioles in last place in the AL East at 54-48.

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(Photo: Brad Penner / USA Today Sports)

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