As Aaron Judge continues his home run story, the New York Yankees continue to prepare for their contract negotiations with the superstar outfielder.
Team President Randy Levine said in a recent interview that Judge is “an all-time Yankee” and stressed that the franchise will be “extremely competitive” to keep the MVP nominee in pinstripes.
“We know his value and what he means,” Levine said on The Show podcast. “I don’t know what’s going on in his head. All we can do is show him how badly we want him to stay a Yankee.”
The judge rejected the Yankees’ $213.5 million seven-year renewal offer earlier this year and expects to strike a more lucrative deal thanks to his potentially record-breaking 2022 season. The four-time All-Star hit his 55th home run in the MLB lead in the Yankees’ opener game against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.
Judge, who also leads the majors with 118 RBIs, broke the Yankees’ single-season record for home runs by a right-hander, eclipsing Alex Rodriguez’s 54-home run season in 2007. Judge started with pace Wednesday, hitting 65 home runs, four more than Yankees star Roger Maris’ American League record in 1961.
“We think Aaron Judge is a total Yankee,” Levine said. “We think he’s a great player, more than a great player. We think he’s a great person. That’s why we offered him the highest-ranked player’s contract in Yankees history.
“I admire him for stepping out and taking this on his shoulders and we’ll sit down with him and hopefully find out. I think there’s no question we want him back and there’s no question we value him.”
The Yankees have repeatedly stated throughout the year that they want to remain judges, and Levine echoed those sentiments during the interview.
“There’s no problem with, ‘Do we want Aaron Judge back?'” Levine said. “There is no problem [with] ‘how much we appreciate him.’ It’s a negotiation. What we’re going to be talking about with him and his reps in the off-season is, ‘How are we holding him?’ And then it will be up to him whether he wants to stay here [or] does he want to go somewhere else? Anyone offer him a better deal?”
Levine added that regardless of offers from other teams, Judge feels there is value in playing for the Yankees.
“As with all free agents, being a Yankee is really important,” Levine said. “It does a lot that maybe a lot of other places don’t have. Now let’s talk about the home run chase with Babe Ruth and Roger Maris – two Yankees.”
https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34542820/new-york-yankees-president-calls-aaron-judge-all-yankee-says-team-extraordinarily-competitive-contract-talks New York Yankees president calls Aaron Judge ‘an all-time Yankee,’ says team ‘will be extraordinarily competitive’ in contract talks