Yankees’ Aaron Judge discusses contract extension: ‘The ball in in their court’

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge
New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

The New York Yankees are currently in possession of the first Wild Card spot in the American League after sweeping the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park over the weekend. Much of the team success this season can be attributed to a particular position player: outfielder Aaron Judge.

Judge, together with Giancarlo Stanton, has been carrying the Yankees in 2021. For the season, the slugger is hitting .284/.370/.533 with 36 home runs, 92 RBI, and a .903 OPS in what has been one of his finest years.

The Yankees know that payday is approaching for the hulking slugger. He will play the 2022 under the arbitration rules for one last time before hitting free agency in the fall of next year… unless the organization has something in store for him.

It’s only logical that the player’s camp and the Yankees find the time to sit down and hammer out the details of a contract extension, presumably right after the 2021 World Series is over so negotiations don’t represent a distraction for him.

Will the Yankees and Judge reach a deal?

The New York Post talked to the player to get his impressions about where the two sides are in negotiations, if there is any.

“No,” Judge told The Post over the weekend (link to NJ Advance Media article here). “The ball is kind of in their court. I’m just a player. I just do my job every day. I’m not going to go running to anybody and say ‘Let’s talk about this.’ That’s their job to do. That’s what they get paid for. I’m getting paid to be out here on the field.”

It’s likely that the Yankees will have to offer a boatload of money to lure Judge into staying for the long-term. Financial flexibility is a problem, since they already have two $300+ million deals in Gerrit Cole and Giancarlo Stanton.

Judge is the Yankees’ best position player, so it makes sense for them to find a resolution and keep him in the Bronx until he retires.