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New York Yankees having ‘positive’ contract talks with Aaron Judge, owner will ‘do everything’ to re-sign him

Matt Johnson
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees know how valuable Aaron Judge is to their franchise. The presumptive AL MVP winner is not only one of the best players in baseball, but also one of the most marketable faces in the sport.

New York knows better than any other team just how valuable Judge is. Brian Cashman knew that the Yankees’ $213.5 million contract offer in the spring wasn’t going to be enough to extend the All-Star slugger. Now that Judge is a free agent, the Yankees are starting to handle negotiations with more urgency.

Related: San Francisco Giants no longer see Aaron Judge as top priority

Yankees’ owner Hal Steinbrenner addressed the team’s talks with Judge during an interview with YES Network. While he wouldn’t provide any specific details, New York’s top decision-maker made it clear that re-signing Judge is far and away the club’s top priority.

“I have had more than one conversation with Aaron since the season ended. I’ll leave it at that. A very positive conversation… I have made it clear to him that is our wish. He means a lot to this organization and I made it clear to him we’re gonna do everything we can to make that happen.”

New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner on Aaron Judge

It’s a positive sign that New York’s contract discussions with Judge are in a good place. The 30-year-old outfielder easily could have ignored the Yankees this winter after their final offer to him before Opening Day fell far short of expectations. However, the three-time Silver Slugger Award winner has made it quite clear he wants to spend his entire career in a Yankees’ uniform.

Related: Aaron Judge, top MLB free agents 2022-’23

There will be significant competition for Judge and that creates an intense bidding war. The San Francisco Giants are expected to be one of the most active teams in free agency and the Los Angeles are also interested in adding Judge. With multiple organizations willing to make Judge one of the highest-paid players in baseball, it makes things even tougher for New York.

  • Aaron Judge stats (2022): .311/.425/.686, 62 home runs, 131 RBI, 1.111 OPS

Ultimately, it would be a surprise if Judge doesn’t re-sign with the Yankees. It’s clearly his preferred outcome and the organization has far too much to lose if he walks. Failing to keep Judge would make the team significantly worse and it would wipe out whatever confidence the fan base still has in the front office.

All of those factors should result in Judge signing the largest contract in Yankees’ history.