NEW YORK — Yankees managing partner Hal Steinbrenner said he has had “more than one” conversation with Aaron Judge since the end of the club’s postseason, adding that he finds those conversations “very positive.”
Steinbrenner spoke with YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits in an interview that will air in its entirety Monday night.
Asked if he felt confident Judge would keep the pinstripes, Steinbrenner responded, “I’ve made it clear to him that that’s our wish. It means a lot to this organization, and I’ve made it clear to him that we’re going to do everything we can to so be it”.
Whatever dollar amount Judge ultimately receives, it will be higher than the seven-year, $213.5 million extension Judge turned down before Opening Day, a move that general manager Brian Cashman has called “the best bet.” of all times.”
Judge responded by setting an American League record with 62 home runs, leading the Majors in numerous offensive categories including runs (133), home runs, RBIs (131), on base percentage (.425), slugging percentage (.686), OPS. (1,111), OPS+ (211) and total bases (391).
Cashman said at this week’s GG meetings in Las Vegas that he has been in contact with Judge’s agent, Page Odle. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he has exchanged a couple of text messages with the slugger since the end of the season and remains hopeful of his return.
“First of all, I love the person,” Boone said. “Getting to be around him for five years and seeing him become the player, leader, person, husband and everything – it’s been fun to watch him and see how he’s evolved and learned to really keep getting better as a Major League player.”
Although Judge struggled during the postseason, hitting .139 (5-for-36) while listening to boos at Yankee Stadium during the Astros’ sweep of the American League Championship Series, Boone said he doesn’t think the fan reaction influence Judge’s decision.
“Look, he’s wanted here,” Boone said. “He knows that. He loves being here. I think he loves the fans. He’s one of those guys that really isn’t affected by it and understands that there are going to be moments in time that literally everybody probably experiences. at some point if you wear this uniform long enough, even if you’re big.”
Starting at 5 pm ET on Thursday, Judge can speak freely with representatives of any team. The Giants are one of the possible suitors, and while he didn’t discuss Judge specifically, San Francisco president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said this week that “from a financial standpoint, there’s no one outside of our ability to meet what we expect the contract demands to be.”
“So then,” Zaidi continued, “it will just be a question of whether there is mutual interest and how we put together the best possible team.”
Although there could be a geographic component to a potential Giants offer for Judge, who grew up about 100 miles from San Francisco in Linden, California, and attended Fresno State University, Judge has repeatedly said his preference would be to remain in New York. York with the Yankees.
“I always go back to my teammates,” Judge said this week on MLB Network. “Those were the guys that walk or die with me all season. Those are the guys that really pushed me day in and day out to go out there and do my best. I definitely wouldn’t have been in this position or had the season that I had if it wasn’t for those guys.”
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Steinbrenner talks about latest Yankees talks with Judge