If you spotted Aaron Judge at the New York City marathon this past weekend supporting his wife and drew the conclusion that it might be a good sign he’ll return to the Yankees … you actually might’ve been onto something.
Though Judge is a free agent, there’s widespread belief the Yankees will get the last word in negotiations and be able to beat the highest bidder if they wish to do so. Judge has expressed he wants to be a Yankee for life various times over the last year and general manager Brian Cashman said there was a desire to re-sign Judge during last week’s press conference.
It all comes down to the Yankees offering the dollar figure their star player wants. Last offseason, the seven-year, $213.5 million extension wasn’t enough. Judge was rumored to have wanted $36 million per year. There was no counteroffer.
The Yankees are in grave danger if Judge doesn’t return, though. That’s better than still being stuck in neutral if he stays, right? Should Judge leave, the Yankees would lose their best, most consistent player and the likely AL MVP. If not for Judge the past two years, the Yankees don’t make the playoffs in 2021 and they don’t win the division in 2022.
So, it might be time to get a Judge deal done and then keep the building going, regardless of the price. The good news is that it seems New York is willing to pay what it takes to keep the 30-year-old.
Yankees Rumors: Aaron Judge asking price to be met in free agency?
"“The Yankees’ hopes have risen and fallen in recent weeks, but one club executive said he felt more ‘confident’ now than he had previously, and two Yankees people volunteered that Judge’s wife Samantha Bracksieck ran the New York City Marathon on Sunday, hopefully wondering if that was a positive sign …“The belief is that the Yankees will be willing to top Judge’s $36 million a year asking price from back in spring, before he became the AL single-season home run record holder, and if deGrom wants to top Max Scherzer’s record $43.3 million Mets salary, as some suggest, the strong indications are that it will not be with the Mets.”"
Heyman’s article focused on the fact the Yankees have a better chance at keeping Judge than the Mets do with deGrom. On the surface, that’s fairly obvious when comparing the two situations, but the rumor of New York willing to push the envelope to $36 million AAV changes the entire tenor of the discussion. deGrom’s been quiet about his future in Queens and reports have suggested the Mets won’t give him Scherzer money, so the warning signs have been there for a while.
In the Bronx, Judge bet on himself. Judge won the bet. The Yankees need to pay up if they want to remain relevant among the top teams in MLB. It’s not that hard of a concept to grasp.
But fans had legitimate worries about the organization either insulting Judge in negotiations or not being aggressive enough. That could still be the case based on whatever else is offered in free agency, but the possibility of them already bending just a couple of days into the offseason really helps the overall morale surrounding the situation.