Aaron Judge will officially no longer be a New York Yankee when the World Series comes to a conclusion. It’s all because the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement on an extension prior the start of the season.
Right before Opening Day, general manager Brian Cashman held a press conference to announce Judge rejected the Yankees’ overture in the form of a seven-year, $213.5 million extension (an eight-year, $230.5 million contract in totality if you included the 2022 season’s figure).
In the fine print, the Yankees attempted to get out of paying Judge his requested salary in arbitration (Judge filed for a $21 million salary and the Yankees filed for $17 million). Not only did they try to get their way with their terms of the contract, but they tried to bake in their way for the arbitration case. It was simply a bad way to do business with your franchise player.
Apparently, that wasn’t even the worst part. Judge’s No. 1 confidant and supporter, Anthony Rizzo, who’s been vocal about the Yankees needing to pay their top guy all season long, revealed another tidbit from those offseason conversations that New York fans aren’t going to like.
It’s also so characteristic of this Yankees front office to think this somehow wouldn’t play an adverse role in the second round of negotiations.
Anthony Rizzo revealed an Aaron Judge-Brian Cashman interaction that’s troubling for Yankees
Following the unneeded presser to tell the world that Judge didn’t fall in line with the Yankees’ preferences, Rizzo asked his teammate what had happened. Here’s what he revealed to ESPN’s Jeff Passan (subscription required):
"“On that April day, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman went public with details of the offer, peeving Judge. Rizzo, with whom he has grown close in a short time, inquired about it soon thereafter. Judge’s response still sticks with him today.‘You don’t think I’m worth more?’”"
Nope! Hence why they couldn’t even round up to $214 million, or give Judge his requested salary via arbitration, which was an extra $4 million!
No wonder Rizzo made it a point to say there’s “no loyalty” earlier in the year when talking about Judge’s potential return. No wonder Judge has been non-committal about his future in pinstripes when asked about hitting the open market. No wonder Rizzo, on his way out the door (he’s opting out of his contract and will be a free agent, too!), put more pressure on the Yankees to pay their star player.
Ultimately, the Yankees paid the price. Judge bet on himself as a result of an offer he felt wasn’t up to par, and he responded with a likely AL MVP season. Rizzo’s endorsements didn’t hurt, but the Yankees already made their bed.
They now know the answer to Judge’s question from April.