The New York Yankees and Aaron Judge couldn’t come to an agreement on a contract extension before Opening Day for a multitude of reasons.
The lockout limited their discussions, Judge was looking for a lot more than what the Yankees presented in their final offer, and there was a bit of baked-in disrespect to that offer, too.
When general manager Brian Cashman revealed to the media just hours before Opening Day that Judge declined a seven-year, $213.5 million extension, a bit of information was conveniently left out.
The totality of the deal, including the 2022 season, was an eight-year, $230.5 million contract. See what we’re getting at here?
Judge’s massive extension talks in the midst of a contract year had some overlooking the fact he and the Yankees still needed to agree on a salary for the 2022 campaign. In his final year of arbitration eligibility, Judge requested a salary of $21 million and the Yankees countered with $17 million.
The two sides couldn’t agree and the case will head to arbitration, but before that, the Yankees seemingly though they’d be slick by trying to get their way with the 2022 salary and include their preferred $17 million into Judge’s mammoth extension offer.
The Yankees need to bend in Aaron Judge’s arbitration case
Do the Yankees really want to wait for this whole thing to go to a hearing on June 22? Wouldn’t they simply be better served to give Judge the extra few million to parlay good faith with the second round of contract negotiations?
Judge wants to be here, he’s already made that clear. Why give him a reason to feel disrespected? Though this year has nothing to do with his arbitration salary (which will be based on last year’s performance), he’s done everything he possibly can (and more) to prove to the Yankees he’s worth every penny.
And what’s a few milly anyway if there’s a greater chance it’ll save you in the long run?
There’s still time to avoid the hearing! The Cubs and Willson Contreras just did last week. So did the Twins and Gary Sánchez! Why make this a bigger spectacle than it needs to be? Do you really want the headlines saying “Yankees defeat Aaron Judge in arbitration hearing” or “Aaron Judge sticks it to richest franchise in MLB by getting an extra $4 million”?
When you have the resources, you have the power to avoid unnecessary drama and headaches. This is the perfect time to do it.