With every passing day, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman finds himself in more trouble regarding an Aaron Judge extension. Before the season began, Judge rejected a seven-year, $213.5 million extension from the Yankees, which would’ve paid him $30.5 million per season on average.
Having experienced injury problems throughout his career, Judge backed up his quality with 39 homers and 98 RBIs in 2021 over 148 games. He posted a .287 average, .373 OBP, and .544 slugging percentage.
“He’s been great,’’ Cashman said recently. “That’s no surprise, because he is great.”
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Judge ranks in the 100th percentile with exit velocity, barrel percentage, hard-hit percentage, and xSLG. He also ranks in the 99th percentile in xwOBA.
Recently, reporters asked Cashman about discussing contract negotiations for a prospective extension this season. However, the Yankees GM refused to make any comment publicly about the nature of their communications.
“We’re not going to talk about [any negotiations] going forward. I’m not saying [we’re not going to talk], but we’re not gonna talk about it [publicly].”
Clearly, Judge’s representatives were a bit ticked off that the numbers were released, and fan pressure was put on Aaron to sign the deal prematurely. However, with Judge on an MVP campaign up to this point, hitting 12 homers and 27 RBIs over 31 Games, Cashman is in trouble.
Judge wasn’t wavered by the media attention regarding his contract negotiations, indicating he’s been dealing with the pressure since he arrived on the biggest stage in sports.
“Not at all,’’ Judge said. “When you play here, there’s always pressure. I’ve been dealing with it for six or seven years now. It’s part of it: contract, no contract, fans being upset. I’ve dealt with it all. With this group, we have no time for me to think of my situation. We’re trying to win.”
Over 134 plate appearances, Judge hosts a .305 average and team-high. 661 slugging percentage. Offensively, he’s been on another level, and he might be able to tack on an extra $5 million per year if he continues at this pace. The question is, where will Cashman find the money?