When it comes to Aaron Judge and the Yankees’ talks this offseason, money talks, so talk more bucks.
This negotiation is playing out more publicly than the Yankees could’ve ever imagined, even after they went public first with their initial offer minutes before Opening Day, a very smart decision in terms of changing the conversation.
Just before first pitch against the Red Sox, Brian Cashman called a surprise press conference to announce that Judge had turned down a seven-year, $213.5 million extension on top of an arbitration year, totaling $230 million over eight seasons in total.
Judge, of course, declined the offer, which Randy Levine recently called “the highest position player contract in the history of the Yankees“. The rest is history — possibly literally. Judge is ahead of Roger Maris’ 61-homer pace, smashing 55 bombs through his team’s first 137 games and keeping the Bombers alive during an August swoon that claimed the entire rest of the lineup. Quite literally, no one is more valuable — and we mean no one.
If the Yankees truly value Judge — and they seem to at least understand that they should — then they’ll have to up that “highest” offer significantly, adjusting for the fact that it’s not 2007 anymore. Judge’s teammates certainly appreciate his recent efforts, which have kept the floundering team afloat while everyone else tries to heal up and find their swings.
Gleyber Torres helpfully communicated this sentiment late in Wednesday night’s second win of a two-win doubleheader, finding the YES Network cameras in the dugout, smirking with Judge a few times, then delivering the international symbol for “Pay The Man”.
Gleyber Torres caught on YES Network telling Yankees to pay Aaron Judge
Or maybe it was, “Check, please?”
Judge felt the brunt of his team’s misfortune on Wednesday, being intentionally walked every time he came up with the chance to deliver a run or two after he homered early in Game 1. When your protection is Ronald Guzman, that tends to happen.
In all, Judge was walked three times in the nightcap and twice in the opener, three of those of the intentional variety.
That’s not quite what the Yankees are expecting to pay for this offseason, and if they do shell out the ever-increasing cash for Judge, they’ll need to make sure they surround him with a viable offense so that he doesn’t stay a one-man band.
Still, the alternative of ignoring Torres’ advice is much, much worse.