Yankees haven’t discussed an extension with Aaron Judge yet
Last Friday the Yankees announced they agreed to a four-year extension with staff ace Luis Severino. With Sevy now locked up some wonder if star outfielder Aaron Judge could be next in line, but according to Judge he hasn’t heard anything about a contract extension from management just yet.
Judge met with the media on Tuesday a day after position players officially reported to Spring Training in Tampa. He discussed a variety of topics including taking advantage of a healthy offseason, the additions the Yankees made and the lack of discussion between his representatives and the team regarding a possible extension.
2019 will mark Judge’s third full season in the big leagues and his final year before he becomes arbitration eligible. This offseason marked the first year of eligibility for Severino and the Yankees wisely signed him to the extension that could be worth up to $52.5M over the next five seasons.
There’s no doubt the Yankees would love to lock Judge up to a similar deal, but talks haven’t begun and his main focus right now is on the upcoming season according to Coley Harvey of ESPN.
This is no surprise given Judge’s team-first, win-first attitude but as the season progresses a possible extension is definitely something to keep an eye on. Part of the reason the Yankees didn’t go after Manny Machado or Bryce Harper this winter was they know that in the next couple years they’re going to have to pay big dollars to keep some of their emerging young stars. That includes Judge, Gary Sanchez, and eventually Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar.
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Judge also talked about how he didn’t feel the Yankees needed to make any splashy additions to their lineup because its’ already one of the best in baseball. Even though Didi Gregorius will miss a lot of time to start the season this is a lineup that helped the Yanks win 100 games last year despite injuries to Didi, Judge, and Sanchez.
Unlike teammate Dellin Betances who lobbied for the Yankees to sign Machado, Judge was hoping the Yanks would sign Adam Ottavino to join what is already the best bullpen in baseball. Just a week after management re-signed Zach Britton he got his wish.
As for his health, Judge says the fractured wrist he suffered in late July of last season is 100% healthy.
"“I was a little worried about it, but it’s 100 percent,” Judge said. “I feel nothing. It feels like it never even happened.”"
This a great sign for Judge and the Yanks because wrist injuries can linger, especially in Judge’s case considering that wrist wasn’t surgically repaired last summer. After Judge spent a lot of last year’s offseason rehabbing his surgically repaired shoulder he had no limitations this offseason and was able to work on improving in all facets of the game.
His manager Aaron Boone said Judge is as healthy as he’s ever been in his young career entering Spring Training. This time last year Judge still wasn’t cleared to play in games so a healthy offseason should pay huge dividends for him and the Yankees once the regular season begins.