The Yankees Are Trying to Extend Aaron Judge Before Their Season Begins Today (UPDATE: No Deal Coming)

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The Yankees Are Trying to Extend Aaron Judge Before Their Season Begins Today (UPDATE: No Deal Coming)

Chicago Cubs

It’s a last-minute push for the New York Yankees to try to lock up star outfielder Aaron Judge on a long-term deal before the season begins, which has been the stated cut-off on talks for both sides. The Yankees begin their season in just a few hours.

The offer details:

Judge, who turns 30 this month, is set to be a free agent after this season, is a monster at the plate when he is fully healthy, and his defense has been good enough in right field that you might be able to project him to stay there for several more years, even at his massive size. But will that size, and the injury history, be an impediment to offensive productivity earlier than you might otherwise expect for a guy in his 30s?

At a gut level, I know most folks might say that contract is too small for a superstar like Judge, but I’m not so sure he should reject it. Hitting free agency in advance of your age 31 season is not ideal, and if Judge should have a down year or suffer an injury, he could wind up looking at offers much lower than $200+ million. (Maybe I’m just biased because I have seen Cubs players in recent year reject extension offers that initially looked light, and then subsequently proved to be probably pretty fine.)

In any case, Judge is set to be one of the biggest names on the 2022-23 free agent market, so I think this is worth watching over the next few hours.

UPDATE: So far, not so good for the sides:

UPDATE II: And that’s that. There will be no long-term extension for Aaron Judge, though it wasn’t for a lack of trying. According to GM Brian Cashman, the Yankees offered Judge a seven-year, $213M deal that wouldn’t begin until 2023 and Judge still turned it down. Frankly, that seems like a mistake. As always, I’m all for players betting on themselves, but a $213.5M, seven year deal beginning in your age-31 season seems perfectly acceptable for a corner outfielder. The upshot here? With no deal for Judge, a player option for Carlos Correa, and the expected opt-out of Xander Bogaerts, next year’s free agent class is suddenly looking a lot stronger than it did a few months ago.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.