While Aaron Judge continues their quest for home run history, the New York Yankees continue to gear up for their offseason contract negotiations with the superstar outfielder.
Team president Randy Levine said during a recent interview that Judge is “an all-time Yankee” and emphasized that the franchise “will be extraordinarily competitive” in its approach to keeping the MVP candidate in pinstripes.
“We know what it’s worth and what it means,” Levine said at the Podcast “The Show”. “I don’t know what’s on his mind. All we can do is show him how much we’d like him to stay a Yankee.”
Judge turned down the Yankees’ seven-year, $213.5 million contract extension offer earlier this year and believes he’ll land a more lucrative deal thanks to his potentially record-breaking 2022 season. The four-time All-Star hit his MLB-leading 55th home run Wednesday in the Yankees’ doubleheader opener against the Minnesota Twins.
Judge, who also leads the majors with 118 RBIs, broke the Yankees’ single-season record for home runs by a right-handed hitter, eclipsing Alex Rodriguez’s 54-homer season in 2007. Judge entered Wednesday on pace to hit 65 home runs. , four more than Yankees star Roger Maris’ American League record in 1961.
“We think Aaron Judge is an all-time Yankee,” Levine said. “We think he’s a great player, beyond a great player. We think he’s a great person. That’s why we offered him the highest position player contract in Yankees history.”
“I admire him because he came out and took this on his shoulders and we’re going to sit down with him and hopefully figure it out. I think there’s no question that we want him back and there’s no question that we value him.”
The Yankees have stated repeatedly throughout the year that they want to keep Judge, and Levine echoed those sentiments during the interview.
“There’s no problem about ‘Do we want Aaron Judge back?'” Levine said. “No problem [con] ‘how much we value it’. It is a negotiation. What we’ll talk to him and his representatives about in the offseason is, ‘How do we keep it?’ And then it will be up to him to see, does he want to stay here [o] want to go somewhere else? Does anyone offer you a better deal?”
Levine also added that regardless of the offers Judge receives from other teams, he believes playing for the Yankees has added value.
“As with all free agents, being a Yankee is very important,” Levine said. “He brings a lot that maybe a lot of other places don’t. Now we’re talking about the home run hunt with Babe Ruth and Roger Maris, two Yankees.”
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Yankees president says team ‘will be extraordinarily competitive’ in talks with Aaron Judge