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Aaron Judge frustrated by failure to agree contract extension with New York Yankees

The Yankees star was hopeful of contract extension being finalized, but it didn’t materialize.

Paul Rudder
Aaron Judge frustrated by failure to agree contract extension with New York Yankees
Mike StobeGetty

True to his word the Yankees’ right fielder maintained that Friday would be his deadline for a new contract to be negotiated. That didn’t happen and he isn’t pleased, so what happens now?

Aaron Judge isn’t happy with his Yankees contract situation

According to the comments he made to reporters on Friday, Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge is quite frustrated about not being able to finalize a long-term contract extension with the franchise that he would like to end his career with. “I’m just disappointed because I have been vocal about wanting to be a Yankee for life,” Judge said after the Yankees clinched a 6-5 extra-innings win over their long time rivals, the Boston Red Sox on Opening Day. “I want to bring a championship back to New York. I want to do it for the fans here. This is home for me. And I’m not getting that done right now. It stinks, but I got a job to do on the field. I got to shift my focus to that now and play some ball.”

Judge, who will turn 30 later this month has of course been the face of the Yankees and perhaps the league itself since his debut back in in August 2016 in a match against the Tampa Bay Rays. On that first day, he actually hit a home run announcing to Yankees fans that a new star was in town. Unfortunately, an oblique strain the following month would cut his season short, but in 2017 things would change completely. Judge would become only the second rookie in MLB history to hit 40 runs in a season. He finished the season with a batting average of .284, 154 hits and 114 RBIs. He received the Players Choice Award and the Silver Slugger Award, and was also voted as the American League Rookie of the Year.

What happened between Aaron Judge and the Yankees?

As mentioned Judge had made clear that Opening Day of the Major League Baseball season would be his deadline for signing an extension that would have prevented him from going into free agency. As things stand now, however, that has not been the case. Indeed, Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reports on Friday that Judge had been offered a seven year $213.5 million extension, which alongside a further $17 million which had been offered in arbitration would have seen the entire deal rise to $230 million in value.

Asked how he felt about the fact that the Yankees actually took the step of publicly revealing what their offer actually was, Judge would not be drawn and simply referred to it as the business side of baseball. “I don’t like talking numbers. I like to keep that private. Something I kind of felt like it was private between my team and the Yankees,” Judge said. “I’m a ballplayer. [Cashman] has a job to do, and I can’t control that. ...It didn’t take me by surprise; there’s nothing to get upset about. It’s business. It’s a side of the sport that I love to play. In business, anything can happen, so you got to roll with it.”

What will Aaron Judge do now?

Despite his obvious frustrations, Judge reiterated that he and his agent would continue negotiations once the season had ended, believing that continuing negotiations with the Yankees would only serve as a distraction while he tries to focus on playing. Indeed, Judge went on to say that he and his representatives were prepared for whatever comes, as he tries to finalize a deal on his 2022 salary. Judge’s camp of course had filed at $21 million while the Yankees countered with $17 million. The question now remains whether they will settle or head to arbitration.

“We’re prepared for both,” Judge said. “If we’re able to settle - nobody likes going in that courtroom. I don’t really think it’s good for both sides because they say some stuff that I wouldn’t want to hear, and we say some stuff they don’t want to hear. I think if we can avoid it at all cost, that’d be great. But myself and our team, we’re ready for either way to go.”

Could Aaron Judge move to another team?

There is of course a risk involved when passing on a contract extension and especially for a player who truth be told has seen his career with the Yankees hindered at times by injuries. That being said, Judge who claims he is in fact willing to take that risk is without doubt one of the biggest names in baseball today. “Every day is a gamble,” he said. “Very few people get this opportunity to talk about an extension. So me getting this opportunity is something special, and I appreciate the Yankees wanting to do that. But I don’t mind going to free agency. I’m not really going to look at all the negatives. I will just focus on what I need to do on the field and everything else will take care of itself.”

Judge also went on to add, “At the end of the year, I’m a free agent - will talk to 30 teams, and the Yankees will be one of those 30 teams. It’s always nice to try to wrap something up sooner, the better. But we weren’t able to get it done and it’s on to baseball.”


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