Yankees star outfielder Aaron Judge has made it clear that if he and the team do not come to an agreement on a contract extension for Opening Day, he’ll become a free agent after the season rather than trying to work on a deal during the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman confirmed on Saturday that the team will indeed make Judge an offer before that point, which is now 12 days away.
“Between now and Opening Day, we’ve said we’ll make an offer and he’ll obviously receive an offer and all the conversations will be had, will have taken place and will either resolve into a multi-year deal or it won’t,” Cashman said, via Sports Illustrated.
SNY MLB Insider Andy Martino reported earlier this month that the Yankees do want to extend Judge, but to that point, they had not yet had a single conversation with him or his agent about an extension.
“If we’re able to talk and get something done in spring training before the season starts, that would be ideal, especially since this is an important year,’’ Judge said on March 15.
“We’ve got a lot of things to focus on during the course of the year, winning a division and winning a championship here in New York. I don’t want contract talks or extensions and all that talk to be a distraction throughout the year. So, if we’re able to agree to something here in the spring before we head up to New York, that’s wonderful and it would be an honor. If not, we’ll talk after the season.”
Judge, who will turn 30 this August, could not come to an agreement with the Yankees on a 2022 salary prior to this week’s deadline for arbitration eligible players, meaning he and the team are headed for an arbitration hearing.
According to multiple reports, Judge filed to make $21 million this season, while the Yankees offered $17 million.
The AL Rookie of the Year in 2017, Judge has proven himself to be a perennial MVP candidate and a leader for the Yankees on and off the field. In 572 regular season games, Judge has blasted 158 home runs with 366 RBI and a slash line of .276/.386//554.
Source: Yahoo Sports