Brian Cashman needs ‘a magic wand’ to quickly secure Aaron Judge for Yankees

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LAS VEGAS — Brian Cashman talked to reporters on the eve of MLB’s general managers on Tuesday. The general manager of the Yankees was much sought after by the press in Las Vegas considering lots of drama surrounding his team’s offseason. He answered many questions, including the most pressing ones about Aaron Judge.

He talked about the team’s plan to try to keep the slugger. However, Cashman made it clear that Aaron Judge would make their team to dance to his tunes and there could be a delay in convincing him to stay. He also admitted that it was worth the need for a magic wand to quickly sign the power hitter.

Cashman told:

“Optimally, if you could wave a magic wand, we would secure Aaron Judge and retain him and have him signed and happy in the fold as soon as possible. He’s a free agent. He’s earned the right to be a free agent. So he’ll dictate the dance steps.”

The Yankees have made it clear that they need Aaron Judge to agree to a long-term deal that keeps him with the team for the rest of his career. It might just take a while for that to work itself out.

Cashman conveyed that he doesn’t plan to talk to Judge’s people while he’s in Las Vegas. He said he didn’t know if Page Odle and David Matranga, who worked for Judge, were in Las Vegas, to begin with. The Athletic found out that they really are in Las Vegas.

If the Yankees had their way, they’d give Aaron Judge a new contract right away, but Cashman doesn’t know when that might happen.

“The one thing I do know is I think he really enjoys the experience here. Those are his words. I know we certainly enjoyed the experience of having him and we’re proud of his career thus far and we hope to be a part of his career the rest of the way. We have to have some serious conversations, and we will. Hopefully, we can retain him. I have no feel how we sit compared to curiosities he has elsewhere and if he has any. We’ll have to stay tuned to find out. We’ll certainly make it tough on him, and I’m sure he’ll make it tough on us. That’s the nature of the beast. Hopefully there’s going to be some opportunities that pop up, including retaining our superstar.”

When asked directly if the Yankees needed to improve Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s position, Cashman said that he thinks the team has a lot of players who are ready to show what they can do. One of these players is Anthony Volpe, who finished the season with Triple-A Scranton and is the team’s top prospect. Cashman thinks he’s almost good enough to make the MLB team. Volpe will compete with Oswaldo Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera for the starting shortstop job in spring training.

Cashman said that Peraza and Cabrera are close to being able to play every day. But he didn’t say if any of their young players could switch positions to make room for all of them if the team thinks they’re all ready to play at the start of next season.

Again, Cashman made it clear that he wanted to re-sign Anthony Rizzo, who turned down his $16 million player option for 2023. They could look into other first-base options on the market but re-signing Rizzo would remain the top priority at the position.

What is the New York Yankees payroll?

When asked about social media rumors about how much is the Yankees’ payroll, Cashman confirmed it was $254 million as of August 31, 2022. The Yankees had the third-highest payroll in the major leagues behind the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers. They are on track to pay about $9.4 million in luxury taxes. The final numbers won’t be put together until next month.

Cashman said that the team’s owner, Hal Steinbrenner, hadn’t set a payroll budget yet.

What do you think about Cashman’s latest comments on Aaron Judge?

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