CC Sabathia Could See Either Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres as Next Yankees Captain

Jordan Cohn
May 15, 2020 - 10:16 am

Depending on who you ask, there have been a varying number of New York Yankees captains. 

Some, like Baseball Almanac, say there have been 13. Baseball Reference, on the other hand, claims that there have been 16. When George Steinbrenner decided to annoint Derek Jeter as the captain in 2003, the New York Times reported that Jeter had become the 11th captain in the team's history (h/t Sean Dolinar of FanGraphs).

But we'll save that topic of conversation for another day. What we do know is that it's about as prestigious an honor as you can receive as a member of the Yankees. Jeter was the most recent, following a line of greats like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Don Mattingly. Recently, a Yankees fan favorite said that the next Yankees captain could very well be one of two guys on the current roster.

On the R2C2 podcast, 11-year Yankees starter CC Sabathia said that both Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres "are just leaders" and that he could see either one of them taking on the responsbility of leading the clubhouse.

Is the next Yankee captain on the roster?

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It didn't take long for another Yankee to weigh in on the matter, as Edwin Encarnacion commented that he "100%" agrees with the longtime pitcher. Though Encarnacion's stint in New York just began halfway through the 2019 season, he was a division rival for some time and has enough experience in the game to know a leader when he sees one.

But CC, having played with Derek Jeter for several years, has about as much equity in the matter as you could possibly ask for. He played with the team for four years after Jeter's retirement, as well, and so he's seen how the team operates without the presence of their chosen leader. 

After seeing just how dominant Judge has been (when healthy), it's not particularly difficult to envision him fulfilling the role. However, his health remains a giant question mark and the team has been consistently vague regarding the status of his rib injury. GM Brian Cashman recently said that he assumed Judge would be out at least into June despite conflicting reports of a potential Opening Day appearance earlier in the year.

Torres' career has similarly gotten off to an explosive start, as he has earned two All-Star selections in his only two seasons, upping his game to a whole different level in 2019. 

Which player, if either of them, deserves to be the 14th (or 17th? or 12th? Who knows...) Yankees captain? Is it someone else on the roster besides Judge and Torres? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter!