So, what’s up with the Yankees and an Aaron Judge extension?
Based on the latest word from Brian Cashman regarding an Aaron Judge contract extension, it seems as if the Yankees are treating their centerpiece the same way they do every other commodity.
No talking turkey until the initial contract has completely expired, opening the window for competition to emerge? Do I have that right? We’re intentionally gumming up the works again?
The new, fiscally-conscious version of the Yankees might be making a smart play here, attempting to reassess Judge’s value after they (ideally) get a fully healthy pair of seasons on which to judge (sorry) his merits.
But they’d better have something in mind, because according to Brian Cashman on Friday, the two sides haven’t had a meaningful conversation regarding the subject.
Nary a conversation.
You want to talk about a unique case here? We’ve already seen DJ LeMahieu test the theory that the Yankees “never let their No. 1 target go” in the race to retain a star’s services; they passed that test with flying colors, though there was much consternation in the process.
What about the Yankees retaining a franchise face on an expensive deal? Is Judge the face of the franchise on the field? Or simply in marketing campaigns? These next two seasons will go a long way towards determining that.
But would the Yankees really create a Mookie Betts monster of their own if they bump up against the barricade of Judge’s free agency? In 2013, they didn’t view Robinson Cano as essential, despite his stance as their far-and-away best player. Will Judge get preferential treatment? Or might he fall similarly by the wayside?
“Yeah, thanks for 2017-2020, but you led a ringless brigade”?
As of now, the Yankees are viewed across the league, largely, as a bit of a sideshow. Phenomenal roster that theoretically should dominate the American League, but never has.
Incredible, hulking outfield featuring a now-perma DH and a right fielder who’s been felled by a little bit of everything.
As it stands, Judge has two full years before free agency to play … well, two full years. In 2021, his mission should be to exceed 150 games (or even 140), something he hasn’t done since his first full year in 2017.
Perhaps then the extension conversations will become substantive instead of nonexistent.