Aaron Judge’s candor about lack of extension should wake Yankees up
The last New York Yankees fans heard from Aaron Judge about his contract situation was after the team’s embarrassing playoff elimination at the hands of the Boston Red Sox. At the time, Judge declared he wanted to be a Yankee for life and that he loves it in the Bronx.
Then came six weeks of ample opportunity to give him an extension before the lockout (which everyone knew was going to happen) commenced and prevented teams from associating with anybody on the 40-man roster.
Here we are in mid-February, still locked out; still without news; still without a shred of hope. What better time for Judge to hop on a podcast to talk about his situation? You know what they say: there’s no better time than the present.
Judge joined Yankees legend CC Sabathia and broadcaster Ryan Ruocco for a conversation on Thursday and spoke candidly about his time with the team as well as his current contract situation.
Truth be told, Judge’s 2021 season proved he deserved an extension on the spot. And he wants to be here. So we’re not really sure what the game of chicken is about (other than the Yankees fretting about the finances they can very much afford).
By no means is this wildly out of character for Judge, but it’s certainly something. He’s not exactly one to spill his guts to the media or even give the most insightful of answers in regard to hot button issues or topics. So now it’s time for the Yankees to pay attention to what their players are saying for once.
Aaron Judge opened up about his future with the Yankees.
The guy went from wanting to be a Yankee for life to mentioning that “he’s had a lot of great memories” if he’s not retained and has to go elsewhere. Judge is certainly a guy to talk about on-the-surface outcomes like this … when he’s forced to face the media. But he willingly did it this time by appearing on a podcast where he knew these types of questions and topics would be broached.
Not to mention, any Yankees content on the R2C2 podcast blows up, in case you haven’t been following it closely enough. Judge might’ve known exactly what he was doing here. Pulling on the heartstrings of Yankees fans during a lockout with a ton of uncertainty heading into 2022? This guy might have a career in politics after baseball.
Based on the expected fan reaction from this, the Yankees front office — if they it hadn’t been already — better have multiple offers ready to present Judge with when a new CBA is ratified. He also talked about becoming more of a leader this interview, which goes to show he should probably be named captain since this team has been seemingly been affected by either being devoid of someone possessing that title or of someone with a demonstrative personality willing to have tough conversations and say what needs to be said.
It seems Judge is ready for a long-term marriage and a heaping helping of more responsibility. And just like anything else of such immense value, it’s going to cost money. The biggest market in all of sports should have no problem paying the bill.