TAMPA, Fla. — New York Yankees star slugger Aaron Judge will soon receive an offer for a long-term contract, team general manager Brian Cashman said Saturday.
“Between now and opening day we’ll make an offer and he’ll obviously get an offer and all the talks will have been in place and resolved into a multi-year deal or not,” Cashman said.
“We are committed. We will make an offer and listen to what he has to say in response to it and then we will sign before opening day,” he said.
The Yankees open the season on April 7 at home against the Boston Red Sox.
Judge said Saturday that he was “pretty sure” he doesn’t want to negotiate a new contract during the regular season. The outfielder, who turns 30 next month, is eligible to become a free agent after the World Series.
“We haven’t decided yet, but for now it’s what we have,” Judge said. “I want to be here. To get a chance to play here for a few more years would be great. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I’m not too worried.”
The Yankees and Judge have not reached an agreement for 2022, which could result in both sides going to arbitration during the season. The player asked for a raise from the current $10.175 million to $21 million, and the Yankees offered $17 million.
“Our position has always been that we only end up in a hearing if they drag us into it,” Cashman said. “We only go when we have to. We’re not afraid to go. Our history shows that we stay out of that realm unless we have to go. We’ll see how it all plays out,” he added.
Judge had a .287 batting average with 39 homers and 98 RBIs in 148 games last season.
“Go back and forth until, maybe, we can come to an agreement before the court date, and if not, we’ll see you in court,” Judge said.
Judge said the contract talk isn’t a distraction.
“Not really, I’m a baseball player,” he said. “I’m going to go out and do business as usual on the field. I’ve got people who are going to take care of the other stuff for me and they’re going to put me in the right position and give me the right answers. If I take care of what I have to do in the field, everything will work”.
On the other hand, Cashman has been in contact on a few occasions since spring training began with the agent of outfielder Brett Gardner, who is a free agent after playing with the Yankees from 2008 to 2021.
“Honestly, right now we’re focused on what we’ve got,” Cashman said.
Gardner, 38, had a .222 batting average with a .327 on-base percentage in 140 games last season.
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NYY will soon offer an extension to Judge