This is not a bad look for Aaron Judge, by the way. It’s a bad look for the New York Yankees. But what else is new?
The team didn’t feel the need to reach out to Judge’s representation at any point this season to discuss a contract extension? They didn’t think to take care of arguably their biggest offseason priority as early as possible?
Ah, but sure, we’ll give Aaron Hicks a premature seven-year extension after he had 0.75 of a good season. Got it.
In all seriousness, though, what is the Yankees plan? Are they going to run this back next year before it’s truly the end, when Judge, Gary Sanchez, Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, Joey Gallo, Brett Gardner, Jameson Taillon, Chad Green and potentially others (Luis Severino, Rougned Odor) are officially free agents?
We sure hope not! The front office should have an eye on the future with some core pieces and then be ready to re-tool for 2022 and beyond.
Isn’t Judge a core piece, though? He has to be after he proved in 2021 that his consistency is essential to the team’s success. But it seems Judge has no idea what his future holds. At least, he expressed that after the AL Wild Card Game loss.
What’s going on with Aaron Judge and the Yankees?
Judge claimed he wants to be a “Yankee for life” but then quickly pivoted to “Hey, whatever happens is out of my control!” … which leads us to believe these two sides have never really discussed what’s to come when Judge’s team control ends after the 2022 season.
He mentioned GETTING TRADED! What?! Has he been reading Yankees blogs over the past two years? We know he typically provides buttoned-up, diplomatic answers, but this felt like it went a little bit too far for comfort. This response leads us to believe the front office has left him in the dark about his future … because this felt like it was a little too honest a response from the man who never goes off the cuff.
The disturbing part is, when you think about it, it’s not incomprehensible to think the Yankees believed they’d win a World Series between 2018-2021. They acquired $600 million worth of contracts in Gerrit Cole and Giancarlo Stanton. DJ LeMahieu came out of the woodwork to be the team MVP in 2019 and 2020. Gleyber Torres was supposed to be a cornerstone player. Gary Sanchez was supposed to be the best-hitting catcher in MLB.
There were so many reasons the Yankees could bide their time with Judge. He wasn’t healthy from 2018-2020. There was no urgency to make him a priority when he couldn’t stay on the field. Why spend more money when you don’t have to after you went out and added massive contracts to the payroll?
Well, now the time has come, and we really wouldn’t be surprised if the Yankees didn’t account for a healthy MVP-caliber campaign from Judge in the midst of enacting financial restraints for the sake of saving a few million against the luxury tax.