Publish Date: 07/07/2022
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner confirmed that he had offered Aaron Judge a contract extension. However, he insisted that he would not provide any detail.
“No matter what happens during the season, we’re not going to give any updates,” Steinbrenner said. “I mean, I completely agree with Aaron that in no way, shape or form can this be a distraction.”
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Judge earlier turned down an eight-year contract worth $230.5 million to $234.5 million, ceasing the talks ahead of the opener on April 8. He said he would not negotiate again until after the season.
Eventually, after the Yankees made their long-offer public in April, both Judge and the team agreed last month to a $19 million deal, a one-year deal that avoided an arbitration hearing. Steinbrenner said that even if the talk about it remains throughout the season, the team would not publicly discuss the negotiation until the season ends. Regardless, he said that the team had made a good offer based on the player’s performance and on what Judge means for the team.
“It was based on the numbers, of course, but it was also based in part as what he means to this organization. It was a combination of both,” Steinbrenner said.
Judge is eligible for free agency after the World Series. He is leading the major leagues with 29 home runs. He is second in the AL with 60 RBIs and has a batting of .281. Those were the primary reasons the Yankees started Wednesday with a major league-best 58-23 record and a 13-game lead in the AL East.
Ever since then, Judge has been increasing in value. He went against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday as he was leading the majors in home runs (29) and runs scored (64). He rivals Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and Roger Maris.
“Aaron is a great Yankee, and he’s very valuable to this organization,” Steinbrenner said of Judge. “He’s a great leader. He’s performed really well this year, which we’re all thrilled about.”
Judge himself has always been clear about how he feels to be a Yankee.
“I’ve been vocal about wanting to be Yankee for life,” Judge said back in April. “I want to bring a championship back to New York. I want to do it for the fans here. They’re family. This is home for me, and not getting that done right now, it stinks. But I’ve got a job to do on the field. I’ve got to shift my focus to that and go play some ball.”
Although the cease in negotiation drew concerns, Steinbrenner maintained that the Yankees were optimistic they would have Judge for the rest of his career.
“There’s no doubt we’re hopeful,” Steinbrenner said. “That is the case, but there’s a lot of discussion to be had. And I’m always willing to talk, of course, and we will be doing that at one point or another.”