Ladies and gentlemen, Aaron Judge is the 16th captain in New York Yankees franchise history, which was a foregone conclusion among many after he signed a nine-year, $360 million contract with the team a couple of weeks ago.
Judge was in the Bronx on Wednesday for a re-introductory press conference to confirm the deal and what’s to come, and it coincided with another piece of big news, as well as the discussion of how important he is and the way the Yankees value his legacy (and legacy in general).
This was always the outcome. Could you have envisioned anything else? Though the Judge era hasn’t exactly been “successful” based on Yankees standards, the team has remained competitive and firmly in the spotlight thanks to his MVP-caliber play.
Not to mention, his demeanor and high character made him destined to be a Yankee, which is the exact type of person the organization loves to have as the face of their franchise.
Judge’s motivation and will to win undoubtedly factored into his return and the decision to make him the unquestioned leader of this team, as evidenced by the reigning AL MVP immediately either putting pressure on the Yankees to make more moves or revealing a plan for more to come over the next few months. We like this guy as a spokesman!
Aaron Judge was named the 16th captain in New York Yankees history
“There might be a couple more moves down the road”?! He even mentioned the Carlos Rodón signing, which we’re not even sure is allowed since it’s not official yet. No holds barred Judge!
Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman previously mentioned that discussions were held with Judge in regard to improving the roster upon his return — something that felt like part of the agreement should he re-sign. After Judge’s brief speech on Wednesday, Steinbrenner reiterated that the Yankees are still “not done” this offseason, in terms of the bullpen and lineup specifically.
At no point did anyone — from the front office to the fans — think that “running it back” with only re-signing Judge was a winning formula. In a perfect world, it would be, but the gap between the Yankees and the Astros + whatever NL team is riding a magical wave in a given year is significant.
It’s no secret the Yankees still have some areas to improve, particularly in left field and the ‘pen. The manner in which they elevate their prospects will play an immense role in the team’s short-term success as they try to maximize Judge’s prime on this massive $40 million AAV contract.
But now that Judge has his money and the captain title, we’ve gotten a taste of how he’ll exercise his influence. So when are those other moves coming?