Seth Wenig/Associated Press
Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado is downplaying the significance of Aaron Judge’s recruiting pitch to join the New York Yankees.
“I think it was just blown out of proportion,” Machado told reporters on Friday, according to the Associated Press.
The comment came one day after Major League Baseball warned Judge for publicly disclosing that he told Machado he’d “look pretty good in pinstripes” during their spring training showdown on Wednesday.
“We have been in contact with the Yankees,” MLB said in a statement, according to the New York Times‘ Billy Witz. “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.”
However, Machado chalked up Judge’s remark as friendly banter.
“Everyone always jokes around about a lot of things, and things that we say on the field usually stay on the field,” he said.
“I’ve told a lot of people they’d look good in black and orange as well, trying to get guys over here. It’s just part of the game. You want to put the best team out there on your field and if I’m a part of this team, I want to bring the best guys over here as much as I can. I want to get a ring as well.”
A three-time All-Star, Machado is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2018 season.
Over his first six MLB seasons, Machado has slashed .279/.329/.476 with 138 home runs, 406 RBI and an OPS of .805. He’s also compiled 26.0 wins above replacement since 2012—a mark that’s tied for 12th among all players during that span, according to FanGraphs.