A pinstriped update on the 2019 Home Run Derby, in the wake of Thursday’s announcement there will be $2.5 million in prize money, including $1 million for the winner, added to the proceedings:
—?Aaron Judge is very likely out.
—?Giancarlo Stanton is a maybe.
—?Brett Gardner is in.
“I’m in the Derby,” Gardner proclaimed loudly to The Post, despite attempts to ignore him and interview Stanton instead. “I’m doing the Derby this year.”
OK, players still have to get invited, and the beloved lifelong Yankee who set a personal single-season high two years ago when he went deep 21 times probably won’t make the cut, which prompted Gardner’s self-deprecating crack.
On the other hand, Major League Baseball probably would have agreed to expand team rosters to 27 players next year, rather than merely 26, if the 2017 Derby champion Judge had committed in advance to this year’s event in Cleveland.
Alas, Judge clearly believes, even if he won’t come out and say it, his title in Miami two years ago at least contributed to the left shoulder injury that required a cleanup surgery the subsequent offseason. So though he offered praise for this innovation — “I wish they would’ve made this change a couple of years ago,” he said with a smile — he’s not ready to jump back into this pool.