Cashman on Judge extension: 'We will make an offer'

March 26th, 2022

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees will present a multiyear contract extension offer to Aaron Judge before Opening Day, general manager Brian Cashman said Saturday.

“Between now and Opening Day, we’ve said we will make an offer,” Cashman said before the Yankees' 10-9 Grapefruit League loss to the Blue Jays. “Obviously, he’ll receive an offer and all of our conversations will have taken place. It will either resolve in a multiyear deal, or it won’t.”

The potential extension may rank as the largest that the Yankees have issued, eclipsing those agreed upon by Derek Jeter (10 years, $189 million) and CC Sabathia (five years, $122 million).

According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, Judge could have a chance to secure the fifth-highest total deal among outfielders, behind Mike Trout (12 years, $426.5 million), Mookie Betts (12 years, $365 million), Bryce Harper (13 years, $330 million) and Giancarlo Stanton (13 years, $325 million).

Judge, who turns 30 in April, has said that he and agent Page Odle will not negotiate with the Yankees during the season, setting April 7 as the deadline. If no agreement is reached, Judge has said that he would re-engage after the season, when he will be eligible for free agency.

“Like I’ve said, I want to be here,” Judge said. “Any way we can lock that up and get a chance to play here for quite a few more years, that would be great. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, I’m not too worried.”

Judge and the Yankees were unable to agree upon a 2022 contract, with the two sides filing for arbitration -- Judge requested $21 million, while the team countered at $17 million.

If Judge and the Yankees can agree on an extension, it would negate the need for arbitration, which would take place during the regular season. Judge has said that he would not be happy about having to participate in a hearing.

“Arbitration-wise, it’s just how things go,” Judge said. “We weren’t able to settle, so we’ll go back and forth until maybe we can settle on something before the court date. And if not, we’ll see each other in court, I guess.”

Judge has batted .276/.386/.554 with 158 home runs and 366 RBIs in six Major League seasons from 2016-21. Last year, he paced the Bombers in all slash line categories, hitting .287/.373/.544 with 39 homers and 98 RBIs in 148 games.

“We’ve always tried to approach things with as much information and sound reasoning, and it takes us where it takes us,” Cashman said. “I think all parties hope it’s an extension, clearly, but it’s not anything that anybody can promise.”

Judge said that the uncertainty of his contract situation has not affected his preparation for the season.

“I’m a baseball player, and I’m going to come out here and do what I need to do on the field,” Judge said. “I’ve got people that are going to worry about the other stuff for me, put me in the right position and give me the right answers. If I take care of what I’ve got to do on the field, everything else will work out.”