If Judge isn’t one of your cornerstones, then what’s the point of keeping him through 2022 only to lose him for nothing next offseason? What’s the point of spending an entire year fending off the media as they ask about the possibility of a long-term commitment?
Trading Judge, though? We certainly don’t want to do that, considering he was the team’s most consistent player in 2021 and proved he’s a top-10 talent in the game when healthy. But if we have to? We guess so. He’ll bring a lot back in return.
But what will that accomplish? In that scenario, the Yankees likely get worse. It’s understandable they may not want to lock Judge into something like an eight-year deal since he’ll be turning 30 in April, but something has to work here for both parties.
Judge has now said twice since the season ended that he wanted to be a Yankee for life. That’s cool! We support it. Anybody who wants to be here is an asset, given we know how tough it is to play in New York.
The Yankees, though? Doesn’t seem like the feeling is mutual for them, because we continue to get skittish answers like this:
What are the Yankees doing with Aaron Judge?
For ALL the money this team has wasted in years past: the contract extensions for Aaron Hicks (why?) and Luis Severino (could’ve just played out his arbitration years), Jacoby Ellsbury’s objectively awful deal, the massive overpay for Brian McCann, bidding against themselves by over $75 million for Gerrit Cole, trading for Giancarlo Stanton’s $325 million contract when they didn’t really need it — we can go on — and now this is where they’re going to draw the line? A guy with a career .940 OPS and 150 OPS+ isn’t worthy of a fraction of your billions of dollars?
We don’t necessarily need answers. ANY explanation would suffice. It’s fair to say fans are sick and tired of hearing the trio of Hal Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone spin their wheels to the media when asked important questions — though we’ll give Cashman credit for his transparency and honesty most of the time.
This offseason is a busy one. We’re not disregarding that. It’s clear a lot of work and heavy lifting need to be done. But it should start with Judge. He’s the main domino that should trigger the next 3-4 moves. You really don’t want to be paying a number of newcomers and overlooking the guy who’s been so important to this team (even when he was only appearing in ~100 games) since 2017. Don’t forget about his 11 homers and 22 RBI in 35 career postseason games.
Whether Judge stays or goes … that’ll be a conversation for when it actually goes down. For now, we just want to know why it seems like the Yankees never seem to have their priorities in order.