CC Sabathia backing big Aaron Judge extension is what Yankees fans need
What would a New York Yankees offseason be without CC Sabathia inserting his loud (and usually correct!) opinion? In recent years, fans have been treated to that and it’s safe to say he’s carried his “fan favorite” status into retirement. He has his finger on the pulse and he’s usually in agreement with the fan base at large.
So when manager Aaron Boone popped on the R2C2 podcast to talk about the state of the Yankees, you just knew we were going to get a worthwhile bit out of it. And once again, Sabathia didn’t fail to deliver.
The topic of an Aaron Judge contract extension came up, and while Boone largely danced around giving us a concrete answer (sound familiar?), he provided some positive talking points about Judge’s development as a leader on the team. OK! More reason to pay him? And make him captain? Sounds good to us.
The only problem is that owner Hal Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman are dragging their feet … and we really have no idea why. Judge has said he wants to be a Yankee for life. The franchise needs to determine next steps if they want to build their next core for 2022 and beyond. What’s the wait?
Sabathia is wondering the same thing. After speaking with Boone on the podcast, the burly lefty took to Twitter, quote-tweeted the conversation with the Yankees manager, and offered his two cents on the matter.
Yes, he thinks Judge should get paid. That’s a big endorsement from one of the best pitchers of a generation who only played with Judge for a few years.
CC Sabathia wants the Yankees to pay Aaron Judge this offseason.
What kind of message does it send if you let your best player walk into a contract year without any security? We saw the friction it caused in Houston between Carlos Correa and the Astros. In LA, it wasn’t exactly dramatic, but the front office insured the Dodgers by trading for Trea Turner at the deadline with Seager months away from free agency. Couldn’t have had a positive effect. And we all saw what happened with the Rockies and Trevor Story.
Judge was the unquestioned best player on the Yankees in 2021. He’s actually clearly been the team’s best player when he’s healthy, too. Though 2017 and 2021 were his only unscathed campaigns from an injury perspective, he still dominated in limited time from 2018-2020. In 242 out of a possible 384 games, Judge had an OPS over .900 over that span.
Fans can certainly sympathize with the hesitation from the Yankees’ perspective … but only to an extent. Judge is about to enter his age-30 season and has been healthy for less than half of his MLB career. However, the Yankees continue to make underwhelming moves that don’t excite the fan base. They vastly overpaid for Gerrit Cole. They inherited Giancarlo Stanton’s $325 million contract only to watch him spend most of his games as a DH. They spent half of their free agency dollars on Corey Kluber last offseason.
Just pay the right people. Judge is arguably a top-five player in the game when he’s healthy. And he wants to be here when it feels like so many other big-time stars don’t want to be bothered with New York.
Not only does Judge deserve it, but we’re just not sure how many more options the Yankees have.