March 5, 2024

At 58-23, the New York Yankees had the best baseball record by 4 and a half games, and AL MVP candidate Aaron Judge was the driving force behind the attack with the highest points in the Major League. The judge owns the .281/.360/.612 hitting streak with an MLB-leading 29 home stroke. No other player has more than 25 house wrecks.

Famous judge refused to extend a seven-year contract worth $213.5 million in spring training. He’s set to become a free agent after this season, so his best player year could not have come. On Wednesday, Yankees Chairman Hal Steinbrenner had a Zoom call with reporters, not confirming whether contract talks with the judge were ongoing.

“No matter what happens during the season, we won’t provide any updates. We won’t. I mean, I totally agree with Aaron that it can in no way be a distraction. The only focus in winning a championship,” Steinbrenner said, according to the athlete And the ESPN. “…There is no doubt that we are hopeful (we can work on an extension), but there is a lot of discussion to have. But we won’t do anything until the season is over.”

The Yankees and Jdege avoided arbitration with a $19 million 2022 deal last month At the time, the judge said the agreement did not create any momentum toward a long-term extension. “No, we got it done. I was happy about that,” He told The judge remained consistent that he would test the free agent market if the extension was not in place before opening day.

“Very few people get this opportunity to talk about sprawl. Having this opportunity is something special and I appreciate the Yankees’ desire to do so,” The judge said after refusing to extend the spring training. “But I wouldn’t mind going to a free agency… At the end of this year, I’m going to talk to 30 teams. The Yankees are going to be one of those teams.”

It’s rare for a local star to leave the Yankees, but it does happen. Less than a decade ago, Robinson Cano left New York for an even bigger contract with the Seattle Mariners. Kano is the last player to sign a 10-year contract in his 31-year season, which Judge will do next year. Teams don’t hand out long-term super deals to players on the wrong side of the 30 anymore.

The best comparison is the seven-year, $245 million contract awarded to Los Angeles Angels Anthony Rendon. Rendon signed this contract heading into his 30-year season, not his 31-year-old, but Judge is a more marketable player and his value to the Yankees exceeds his on-pitch performances as he recently puts in the seats and leads TV ratings.

While I’ve been betting Judge and Yankees work for a new decade after season, things can change quickly once a player hits the open market. All it takes is a desperate owner or general manager to throw a wrench into things (like Mariners with Canó). For now, Steinbrenner is timid about extending the talks, but all signs are that the judge is hitting free agency in a few months.

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