Aaron Judge skirts contract questions, teammates unsure of his stay

Aaron Judge

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Aaron Judge’s Herculean and exhausting 62-homer season helped the Yankees score for most of 2022. Now he has a chance to make a lot of money, whether in the Bronx or somewhere else.

Aaron Judge had a great regular season. The official start of the offseason is five days after the World Series is over. But when New York’s season is over, Aaron Judge’s contract with the Yankees is over, and he will become a free agent for the first time. His story will be the most-read news of the offseason, but the likely Most Valuable Player in the American League didn’t do anything to heat things up in the playoffs.

When reporters at Yankee Stadium asked Aaron Judge if he wanted to stay a Yankee, he didn’t say one way or the other. After Houston routed the Yankees in the fourth ALCS game, the slugger told reporters that he doesn’t know what’s next for him. He has never been a free agent earlier.

“Yeah, I’ve been clear about that ever since I first wore pinstripes,” the 30-year-old told, “But we couldn’t come to an agreement before spring training; I’m a free agent now, and we’ll see what happens.”

During the regular season, the 30-year-old hit 62 home runs, drove in 131 runs, and had an OPS of 1.111. He also played good defense. In the next few weeks, it’s likely that every big-market team will check up on him, and the Giants will be first in line.

People in the baseball business think that if Aaron Judge leaves the Yankees, the Giants will be his first choice. He grew up in nearby Linden, so it makes sense. But right now, there aren’t many people in baseball who think the most famous team would let someone like Aaron Judge go.

His teammates hope he will get a bigger pot of gold, but they don’t know what he will do.

Those who observed his record-breaking season, which came to an unfamiliar conclusion on Sunday against the Astros in the ALCS, feel Aaron Judge has earned the large sum of money that will be coming his way — and they hope it will be from the Yankees.

“I think that he bet on himself, on the biggest stage, in the biggest market, and did it with ease. He should be rewarded as the highest-paid player in the game,” his teammate Anthony Rizzo said.

He continued: “I think he is the new gold standard. Most of the time, it’s all about the timing of the market, and what better time to go out and hit 62 home runs, hit over .300, play great defense, steal bases when he needed to, get on base more, and walk more? He’s got everything.”

“He’s a close friend of mine and a great teammate, so I’ll be keeping in touch with him,” Gerrit Cole told. “As far as what the future holds between the negotiations, I’ll just be a supportive friend and reiterate everything that he means to us — the support and the talent and the type of player he is, it’s just so special. He deserves to enjoy this courting process and he deserves everything that’s coming to him.”

According to DJ LeMahieu, “I’d be surprised if he didn’t come back, but you never know what will happen. I think he wants to be here for sure. But when it turns into a business, a lot changes.”

Should the Yankees retain Aaron Judge or he will join the Giants?

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