NEW YORK — Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed Thursday that Major League Baseball is looking into potentially improper communication between the New York Mets and Yankees regarding star free agent Aaron Judge and said he is confident the inquiry will find no issues.

“I’m absolutely confident that the clubs behaved in a way that was consistent with the agreement,” Manfred said Thursday, referring to the league’s collective bargaining agreement.

“This was based on a newspaper report. We will put ourselves in position to demonstrate credibly to the MLBPA that this is not an issue. I’m sure that’s going to be an outcome, but obviously we understand the emotion that surrounds that word (collusion) and we’ll proceed accordingly.”

The Athletic first reported MLB was investigating the teams after a story on, the website for the Mets’ television network, said a “mutually respectful relationship” between Mets owner Steve Cohen and Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner would prevent a “high-profile bidding war” for Judge. The 30-year-old could command over $300 million in free agency.

Judge turned down a $213.5 million, seven-year offer from the Yankees before Opening Day, then hit an AL-record 62 home runs.

According to the report, the union requested that MLB look into communications specifically between Cohen, who purchased the Mets from the Wilpon family for $2.4 billion in 2020, and Steinbrenner, who took over as the Yankees’ managing general partner following the 2008 season.


Manfred, speaking at the end of this week’s owners’ meetings, said he will not directly be involved in the investigation.

ALL-STAR GAME: The Texas Rangers will host Major League Baseball’s 2024 All-Star Game, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced.

Manfred announced the game will be held July 16 at Globe Life Field, which opened during the 2020 pandemic season. The stadium hosted the neutral site World Series and NL Championship Series that season.

Next year’s game will take place in Seattle, which last hosted in 2001.

The 2026 game will take place in Philadelphia to coincide with the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States. No announcement has been made about the 2025 game.

Texas will host its second All-Star Game and first since the National League claimed a 3-2 victory in 1995 at The Ballpark in Arlington.


PADRES: San Diego and reliever Robert Suarez agreed to a five-year deal that runs through 2027.

The deal has a player opt-out clause following the 2025 season.

Suarez, a 31-year-old right-hander, made his major league debut last season and appeared in 45 games, posting a 5-1 record with a 2.27 ERA. He gave up three runs without recording an out against Arizona in his first appearance, then allowed only nine earned runs the rest of the season.

Suarez had a 3.00 ERA over seven appearances in the postseason. He took the loss in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series when the Padres were eliminated by Philadelphia.

TRADE: The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired 2020 AL Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for catcher/outfielder Cooper Hummel, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal.

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