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Tom Horak | USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Judge is already turning heads this season, and spring training hasn’t even officially started.

Bryan Hoch of parked himself outside the Yankees’ minor league complex in Tampa and saw Judge in an unlikely position: taking reps at first base.

First things first, Judge isn’t playing first base this season. The new Yankee captain has a better chance of turning in another MVP season. Not to mention, the Yankees have the position locked down. Anthony Rizzo is the primary starter and DJ LeMahieu will play first on an as-needed basis. Josh Donaldson can also probably handle first base in an emergency.

But let’s consider Judge, first baseman. It doesn’t make sense now but might be a move that benefits the Yankees in a few years.

Rizzo is on a three-year contract with an opt-out after two. LeMahieu has four years remaining on his contract and will probably see more of first base on the back end. There aren’t any notable first base prospects in the farm system either. What’s the Yankees’ plan for the future?

Well, maybe Judge at first base is the plan. Remember, he just signed a nine-year deal and turns 31 in April. Throw in his injury history and it’s hard to envision him as a full-time outfielder in the latter half of the contract. Putting him at first base at some point, even if it’s just part-time, gives his legs a rest and keeps him off the injured list.

Plus, Rizzo is his close friend and could easily mentor him at the position.

This wouldn’t be the first time the Yankees stuck a beloved outfield slugger at first base either. Mickey Mantle’s legs aged him out of the outfield so much that he was New York’s starting first baseman for the last two years of his career. He turned in two All-Star seasons at first too, even if his fielding was only about average.

Judge taking reps at first base now is probably little more than just messing around before actual spring training starts. But even so, don’t be surprised if you start seeing him there more and more over the years.

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Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.