Yankees fans will despise Anthony Rizzo’s Aaron Judge extension comments
Though the Aaron Judge negotiations aren’t as “done” as Carlos Beltran made them out to be on YES Network’s broadcast this week, Yankees Universe was led to believe silence was golden, according to a wide swath of insiders.
Was progress being made on a Judge extension behind the scenes before Opening Day? There’s no way of knowing for sure, of course, but reporters from Jon Morosi to Mark Feinsand have made it clear this week that industry expectations are something will get finalized.
So leave it to Anthony Rizzo to make the fan base a hell of a lot more uncomfortable just as the skies were beginning to clear.
Fresh off a failed negotiation with the Chicago Cubs on a long-term deal last offseason, Rizzo admitted on Thursday that he’d spoken to Judge about the negotiations recently, and his main response was that loyalty doesn’t exist in this game.
Was Rizzo saying, “Hey, anything’s possible”? Or did something Judge said tip him off to a lowball offer?
Regardless, after just two months in the same clubhouse, Riz is already a pretty wonderful advocate for getting the slugger the money he deserves — and tightening the screws on the Yankees in the public square.
Yankees’ Anthony Rizzo to Aaron Judge: There’s no loyalty in this game.
Objectively, Judge should be trying to corral every penny he can in these negotiations. He knows that, even past the age of 30, he still has all the leverage in the world here. The Yankees have dubbed a section of their stadium The Judge’s Chambers. He’s on all their marketing material. He is the current face of the roster.
He may not be able to acquire a 10-year deal or a Mookie Betts contract from another team, but he can certainly top $30 million AAV (or at least approach it), and he can definitely expect six or seven years guaranteed from a whole host of suitors. He’s also made it clear he’d like to be a Yankee for life.
In essence, he’s set reasonable goals, and the onus is now on the Yankees to match them — which, again, we’ve heard they intend to.
Still, when Rizzo’s advice can be distilled into “Stand Your Ground,” that doesn’t exactly promote optimism.
In the next 24 hours, Judge could either be a Yankee for Life, or he could be allowed to foolishly flap in the breeze like Freddie Freeman and Betts — and, yes, Rizzo — before him.
Neither side should let loyalty get in the way of what’s best, but both sides should realize keeping Judge in pinstripes is what’s best.