Michael Kay’s comment fuels more uncertainty about Aaron Judge’s return

Michael Kay

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Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner has confirmed that he wants Aaron Judge back in pinstripes and already held talks with the power hitter. But the anxiety surrounding the slugger’s contract remains and Michael Kay’s recent comments are sure to add to the uncertainties.

YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits asked Hal Steinbrenner during a “Hot Stove” chat if making Aaron Judge the next Yankees captain could be part of his sales pitch. Steinbrenner said, “That is something we might think about.”

But would that be enough for Judge to stick around? Michael Kay of YES Network has a different story that hints at something else’s.

On Yes Network, the long-time Yankees voice told:

“Now he can say, ‘Well the six or seven years that I spent in pinstripes and the 62 home runs, I’m going to take that star with me wherever go. Remember, LeBron James became iconic in Cleveland and Peyton Manning became iconic in Indianapolis. It’s a little bit of a different world. It’s kind of a small village because of the internet, everybody gets every single game … if you injected Robinson Canó with truth serum, is he happy that he went to Seattle for the extra years? He took $1 million less per year to have 10 years in Seattle. Well, he’s still collecting money, but his star has sunk.”

Now that the big-hitting outfielder is a free agent, there are still rumors and theories about what he will do next. Michael Kay is still hopeful that Aaron Judge will stay in pinstripes, though, because everyone on the team wants him. He said:

“Once you have more than one conversation it becomes a dialogue. It’s going to come down to money and years, and it’s going to be Hal Steinbrenner and his family and the other partners in the Yankees that are going to make that decision. But a lot of teams right now are shying away from long-term contracts … but this guy is so iconic, they made him even bigger than most players that they normally would market on their own team … this will drag on and on and on. And as Brian Cashman has said, [Judge] is going to dictate the dance because he’s earned that right after being a free agent. And the longer that takes, the Yankees are going to have to make contingency plans for Plan B if he doesn’t end up with them. There’s a lot of pressure on the Yankees to get it done sooner rather than later.”

When asked how long it will take for the Yankees to get a deal done with Aaron Judge, Michael Kay’ replied:

“They have not been even cute about it. They have been very out front: ‘This is the guy we want, we want him to return a Yankee.’ But just watching the way the organization has operated over the last couple of years, there’s not going to be an endless pit of money … I believe there will be a point where either side could walk away … although they both need each other and both want each other, doesn’t mean they will definitely end up together.”

Before Opening Day, Aaron Judge turned down a seven-year, $213.5 million deal. Then, he had a historic season. The 30-year-old was in the running for the Triple Crown and hit 62 home runs, which was a new record for the American League. Judge is likely to be named AL MVP on Thursday.

The San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers are among the teams that want to catch Aaron Judge. But Steinbrenner said that Judge and the Yankees have begun talking. Steinbrenner also said again that the Yankees would rather re-sign Judge than let him leave for free. Michael Kay expects the same.

“He’s very important to this organization, and I’ve told him that we’ll do everything we can to make sure he stays,” the owner told during the interview.

Bob Klapisch of NJ Advance Media said on Sunday, “Cashman has talked to agent Page Odle a number of times this week.”

What do you think about Michael Kay’s latest comment? Leave your comment below.

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