Yankees Rumors: Aaron Judge could be Mets top target in free agency next off-season

aaron judge, yankees

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman took an incredibly risky approach with Aaron Judge’s contract extension this past off-season. The Bombers offered him seven years and $213.5 million to stick around for the foreseeable future. Judge’s representatives declined, looking to capitalize on a dominant 2022 season.

After 36 games of action, Cashman is likely pounding his fist on the table, watching Judge’s numbers increase daily. He currently hosts a .307 average with 14 homers and 30 RBIs. His 38.1% on-base percentage is one of the best on the team, and he’s striking out at just 26.3%, below his career average.

The Yankees are seeing the best of Aaron Judge:

At 30 years old, Judge hasn’t lost an ounce of power either, recording a 65.3% hard-hit rate and 27.6% barrel rate. His average exit velocity is the highest in his career at 97 mph. Judge ranks in the 97th percentile or better in seven advanced batting metrics, including average exit velocity, barrel rate, batting average, and hard-hit rate. His whiff rate has evened out at average, meaning he’s seeing pitches extremely well.

Against fastballs, Judge is hitting .305 this season, but against breaking balls, he’s hitting .400. Opposing pitchers are desperately trying to figure out how to attack Aaron. He’s experienced a slight increase in fastball usage, which has done absolutely nothing against one of baseball’s best hitters.

However, the open market will have a chance to jump on Judge this upcoming off-season. The Yankees will have their hand in the mix, undoubtedly. I wouldn’t rule out the crosstown rival Mets as a prospective buyer.

According to Kiley McDaniel of ESPN, the Mets have routinely come up among MLB executives discussing where Judge could land in free agency:

Mets owner Steve Cohen. He came up in every conversation I had with execs about Judge — partly because the Mets could stand to upgrade their outfield, but mostly because he becomes the Kool-Aid Man when a cost control is put in front of him.

The Mets could be a real competition in the market:

With Mets owner, Steve Cohen sitting atop a mountain of cash, stealing Judge away from the Yankees would make him the most loved person on Long Island.

There is reason to believe that Judge could find his contract approaching $300 million over eight seasons. Given his deal with expire at nearly 40 years old, there’s a legitimate possibility that Cashman lets him walk.

With the league slowly moving away from behemoth contracts for players over 30, there’s a real possibility Cashman sets a price limit. Over in Queens, Cohen could be licking his chops, preparing to make Juge a very rich man.

Yankees price tag for Aaron Judge continues to rise

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Another week of dominance for the New York Yankees and another week where Aaron Judge is playing like the best player in baseball. Last night, the Yanks defeated the Baltimore Orioles and Aaron Judge was once again on fire.

After getting the night off on Monday, Judge torched the O’s for two bombs last night. It should have been three home runs if it wasn’t for the monstrosity of a ballpark in Baltimore. Judge’s first inning double would’ve been a home run in 29 out of 30 ballparks.

However, due to Baltimore moving their left field wall back to fit unrealistic proportions, Judge missed a homer by inches. The Yankees superstar would still get two homers to bring his major league leading total to 14, but he should’ve woke up this morning with 15 homers in the bag.

Judge is off to arguably the best start of his career in the most important season of his career with the Yankees. Last week, I wrote about how Judge bet on himself and as a result, the Yankees were really going to have to pay up.

Well, a week later, nothing has changed and it still feels like the price tag is going up. Before the season, Judge and his reps rejected an extension offer from New York that would’ve been for seven years and $213.5 million. An AAV of $30.5 million.

Judge’s 2022 Gamble

At the time, it was a risky move by Judge to decline the deal from the Yankees. Sure, Judge is one of the best players in baseball when healthy, but health has been a concern. In his previous five seasons, three of them had significants stints where Judge was hurt and missed time.

His production when on the field has never been in question. Questions only surrounded his health. Right now, the 30-year old slugger is healthy and he’s playing at the highest level of his entire career.

In addition to his gold-glove level defense, Judge is slashing .315/.384/.692 and has an OPS of 1.076. He’s leading the league in homers, he’s third in RBIs and third in OPS. Simply put, the Yankees superstar is showing just how special he is.

After Judge rejected the deal, it was leaked that he was seeking Mike Trout money for an extension. Trout’s extension with the Angels gave him an AAV of $36 million which is the same AAV and Yankees ace Gerrit Cole.

Yankees’ Approach

Now, I personally believe that if the Yankees upped the years on the deal they were offering, they might’ve gotten a deal done. I think Judge and his team wanted to see a contract where the total number started with a three instead of a two.

I’ve seen some concern from fans that this situation is like the Robinson Cano situation. However, to me, this is much different. When Robinson Cano was entering free agency, he was the best player on the team.

However, he wasn’t the face of the franchise for the Yankees. Derek Jeter played through the entirety of Cano’s time with New York. Because of that, Robbie Cano was never the face of the franchise. While his production was insanely good, his overall value wasn’t as high because of that. Aaron Judge is the face of the franchise.

Aaron Judge is more valuable to New York than he is to any other team in baseball. Sure, teams will want to line up and pay Judge for his on-field production. However, it’s the entire package of Judge and what he means to New York that makes him so valuable to the Yankees.

Simply put, they can’t let him walk and have to get a deal done before he fields other offers. So, what would a new deal potentially look like? Well, they can’t make the Cano mistake. If Judge wants a deal to keep him in New York for the entirety of his career, you make it happen.

Potential Offer

If I was running the show, I would front-load the contract. Perhaps you start with 10 years at $300 million. For years 1-5, you give Judge the $36 million a year that he’s seeking. Then give him an opt out. If he opts in, years 6-10 would pay him $24 million to finish his career.

Yes, $24 million might be a lot for the end of his career, but it’s worth it to keep the face of the franchise in a Yankees uniform for the rest of his career. I’m not even sure that would get it done at this point, but that’s where I would start.

What do you all think? If you’re Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner, what kind of offer do you give to Judge? Sound off in the comments!

Yankees’ Aaron Judge torches Camden Yards after outfield walls ruins 3-HR day

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Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was just a few inches away from recording his third home-run of the day against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday evening. In the 1st inning, Judge roped a 399-foot bomb to left field, which careened off the top of the wall, an extension put up for no reason at all in Camden Yards.

Judge posted four hits on the day, including two homers, a double, and three RBIs. He would’ve had a three home-run performance if not for the left-field wall. Aaron began to target different portions of the field to get the ball over the fence. He smashed a 410-foot blast to right-centerfield and a 422-foot moon shot to dead center, making sure he didn’t miss another opportunity.

After the game, both Judge and manager Aaron Boone took individual shots at Camden Yards, which has turned into a disappointing place as they continue to make changes to the outfield.

“It’s a travesty, man. I’m pretty upset. It just looks like a Create-A-Park now.”

Even Aaron Boone tossed in a steamer: “Almost three, but build-your-own park got him there in left.”

Just a few days ago, Rangers manager Chris Woodward blasted Yankee stadium for having a short right porch, but the team isn’t constantly changing the outfield metrics.

Aaron Judge is taking his game to another level with the Yankees:

Judge has a legitimate point regarding Baltimore’s “create a park” standards. Nonetheless, that didn’t stifle an electrifying performance from the Yankee slugger. He has been on fire in the month of May.

Over the past 18 days, Judge is hitting .345 with a .413 on-base percentage and 1.231 OPS. During that span, he’s posted eight home runs, 17 RBIs, and 19 hits over 55 at-bats. In other words, Judge looks like an MVP front-runner this early in the season with an average of .315. He currently has a 213 wRC+, one of the best in baseball.

General manager Brian Cashman must be in disarray over the amount of money he’s going to have to spend on Judge after this season. Given he continues performing at this level.

Yankees’ Brian Cashman in trouble with Aaron Judge putting together an MVP season

aaron judge, yankees

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.”

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?

Yankees: The date for Aaron Judge’s arbitration hearing is set

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As of Thursday morning, neither the New York Yankees or Aaron Judge know how much the outfielder is going to make this season. As the two sides exchanged figures several weeks ago, they couldn’t agree on a 2022 salary, so they need to go to salary arbitration.

As the Yankees know perhaps too well (remember the Dellin Betances arbitration case?) these hearings can get nasty. It’s not natural, or pleasant, for a player to have his own team looking at weaknesses and deficiencies in order to try and reduce his potential earnings.

The Yankees offered to pay Judge $17 million in his final season of arbitration eligibility; while the player filed for $21 million. In the hearing, the arbitrator will side with one of the two parties: it will be either $21 million or $17 million, with no middle point.

The Yankees wanted to extend Judge but he decided to wait for free agency

As a reminder, the Yankees offered Judge a $213 million contract extension right before the start of the regular season, but he turned it down, betting on himself and become a free agent after the campaign. So far, that bet is paying off, as he is having one of the best seasons of his career: .288/.352/.613 with a league-leading 10 home runs, including an impressive walk-off blast a couple of days ago.

The date for Judge’s arbitration hearing is now set: it will be, according to the New York Post, on June 22. As a rule, his 2022 numbers can’t be used as an argument in any way for the hearing, so his performance up until 2021 will be evaluated.

Still, he was brilliant last year, too, with 39 homers, 98 RBI, and a .916 OPS. There is still a chance that Judge and the Yankees agree on a one-year deal before the hearing, but the star outfielder does not want to negotiate a long-term pact during the season.

Aaron Judge bet on himself and the Yankees are going to have to pay up as a result

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

Right now, the Yankees are currently playing the Blue Jays to wrap-up their short two-game stint against the Jays. At the time of writing this, New York is holding onto a lead and it would be a huge win coming off the heels of the massive win that took place last night.

Last night, the Yankees were down two runs going into the ninth inning. After a couple of walks, Aaron Judge stepped up to the plate. Despite being arguably the most feared power-hitter in baseball, Judge had never hit a walk-off home run in his career with the Yankees.

That changed last night. On a 1-2 count, Judge caught a hanging slider and hit it 450 feet into the second deck in left field. The shot secured a win for the Yankees and it secured the top spot in MLB’s home run rankings to Aaron Judge.

Thus far in the 2022 season, Aaron Judge is off to a tremendous start. You can make the argument that the Yankees star is off to the best start of his career. It’s either this year or 2017 for the superstar outfielder.

Yankees Need To Pay Up

Before the season started, the Yankees tried to ink Judge to a lengthy extension. Specifically, New York came forward with a seven-year, $213.5 million contract extension that would start after this year.

The AAV of the deal would pay Judge $30.5 million a year which seems like a good offer. Now, I think we all know that Judge is worth more than $30.5 million a year especially to the New York Yankees.

Judge and his reps knew that fact as well. The Yankees came forward with a fair offer considering the fact that Judge has been an injury-prone player since his MVP contending season in 2017.

However, Judge was healthy last season and he’s remained healthy this season while playing at the highest level of his career. Entering his free agency year, Judge and his reps rejected the offer that New York threw out.

Some, including myself, thought it was a risky move by the Yankees star. However, if he keeps playing the way he is, it was a stroke of genius. The power-move was just another testament to the greatness and confidence of Aaron Judge.

I truly believe that Aaron Judge will spend his entire career with the Yankees. They cannot let him walk. That being said, their offer is going to have to come up in a big way especially if he keeps playing at this level.

While Judge said talks would have to wait until the season is over, don’t be surprised if Cashman is slowly upping the offer behind the scenes. Cashman said they wouldn’t comment on in publicly moving forward. This will be definitely something to watch as the season goes on.

Good news and bad news as Yankees ride Aaron Judge moon-shot to victory

aaron judge, yankees

The New York Yankees faced off against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first game of a two games series starting on Tuesday. With Luis Severino taking the mound, the Bombers were hoping to get a bit more offensive production out of their team after a few quiet performances against the Texas Rangers over the weekend. Nonetheless, the Yankees still managed to win two of three games against Texas, extending their awesome streak.

Good news and bad news for the Yankees:

In Severino’s sixth start of the season, he had a bumpy ride against a solid Toronto squad. Tossing 97 pitches, Severino allowed three earned runs, five hits, and two walks over 4.2 innings. Seve’s ERA has bubbled to 4.08, allowing three or more runs in this last three consecutive starts combined. He did strike out eight batters against Toronto, but a solo shot from George Springer in the first inning got them on the board early. His pitches looked solid, showcasing fantastic break. Severino has had some trouble giving up homers, allowing three in his last three starts.

In relief of Severino, Miguel Castro entered the game, striking out four batters over 1.1 innings. Both Jonathan Loáisiga and Chad Green allowed an earned run before Wandy Peralta closed the game with ease.

Offensively, the Yankees picked up five hits and struck out 10 times, but tallied seven walks, displaying great patience.

However, it was slugger Aaron Judge that came to the rescue in the 9th inning with the Yankees down three runs. The score was 5–3, Toronto, with Jose Trevino and DJ LeMahieu on base. Judge had an opportunity to pick up his first career walk-off homer, and he launched a hanging slider over the middle of the plate from Jordan Romano into the left-field bleachers.

“It’s a weird feeling. You hear the crowd going crazy and you see the bench, you see guys jumping over the railing,” Judge said. “A special moment you get to share with them.”

Finally, Judge got his first walk-off and it was glorious against one of the Yankees’ primary rivals. The Yankees will take on Toronto once again on Wednesday afternoon at 12:35 PM before heading on a road trip against Chicago and Baltimore until they return home on May 20.

“What a game,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “A heavyweight game. Those are fun ones to be a part of.”

Yankees: Aaron Judge once again getting a rough treatment with low called strikes

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

For years, New York Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge has been getting a rough treatment by umpires, who continually call low pitches out of the zone as strikes. This was evident on Wednesday night, perhaps as much as any game in recent memory.

The situation got so bad at one point that Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone was ejected by the home plate umpire for arguing balls and strikes against Judge. In the end, all those missed calls had an impact on the Bombers dropping a close 2-1 game and putting an end to their eleven-game winning streak.

Boone’s altercation with umpire Marty Foster was ugly, but he had been affecting Judge all night. Here are some videos of two different at-bats:

“I was upset a little bit there; upset with a couple of others,” Boone told MLB.com. “But nothing more than that. We’re playing for a lot. I just felt like there were a couple there in situations that didn’t go our way.”

The Yankees’ manager stood up for his star player

The Yankees’ outfielder certainly appreciated his manager standing up for him the way he did.

“I appreciate it,” Judge said. “I voiced my opinion to Marty during the game and let him know what I was thinking about the calls. At that point, that’s all I can do. That’s why I have a manager to stick up for me. If I get tossed in that situation, it’s going to hurt us. He stood up for us and for me, and I appreciate it.”

The Yankees will have to build another winning streak, probably with the help of Judge, who hit .357 (15-for-42) with eight homers, 17 RBIs and 12 runs scored in the recently snapped eleven-win streak.

“It’s just 11 games — we’ve got more work to do,” Judge said. “A lot of good things happened. It showed what this team is made of.”

Yankees’ Aaron Judge has been abused by terrible strike calls, here’s a look at how many

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The New York Yankees lost what would have been their 12 consecutive win against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night, but a few terrible calls against slugger Aaron Judge stained the performance.

At the top of the 6th, with a 3–2 count, Judge struck out on an awful call by the umpire. Not only is the strike zone bigger for Judge, who stands at 6’7″, but the call was completely below his knees, indicating yet another reason why some are calling for a robo-umps.

Even manager Aaron Boone stormed the field in disarray after a similar pitch was called for a strike in the 8th inning. Judge appreciated the support from his manager, who let it rip in the face of the umpire.

“I don’t know. I was pretty mad out there,’’ Boone said. “Hopefully, I kept it in control somewhat.’’

“(Boone) stood up for us, stood up for me,’’ Judge said. “And I appreciate it.’’

With two blown opportunities for Judge to make something happen, he ended up striking out three times and walking once, lowering his batting average to .293 on the season.

This strike zone issue has been a legitimate problem for quite some time. In fact, according to Baseball Savant, Judge has had 366 balls called strikes below the strike zone since 2017. You can tack on another two against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.

Despite the negligence working against Aaron, he’s still having a phenomenal 2022 season, hitting nine homers and 19 RBIs over 25 games. While his strikeout rate is above 30% after the loss, he is doing himself a lot of favors with a massive contract extension coming up. Judge declined the Yankees’ extension offers before the season began, so he will hit free agency in search of a big deal.

Nonetheless, if he continues to play at this level and dominate, the Yankees will be backed into a corner and have no choice but to offer him lucrative money. Considering they’ve already carved a section in Yankee Stadium for him, there’s simply no way they can let him walk.

WATCH: Yankees and Blue Jays fans have heart-warming moment after Aaron Judge homer

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When Yankees slugger Aaron Judge belted a solo homer in the 6th inning of a 9-1 win over Toronto on Tuesday, a beautiful moment sparked between a Yankee and Blue Jays fan, exchanging the baseball for a meaningful hug.

The Toronto fan picked up the baseball in awe as Judge smashed the home run 427 feet into the second deck in left field. A young fan wearing an Aaron Judge jersey immediately began crying in desperate need of retrieving the ball. With tears streaming down his face, he lunged at the Toronto fan to embrace as a sign of thanks.

At this moment, faith in humanity is what is restored just a small amount, but put on display why baseball is such a beautiful game.

Judge, who is hitting .303 this season, is having a monster campaign after declining a big contract extension from the Yankees. Judge is clearly betting on himself, and that is seeming to pay off after 23 games, smashing nine homers and 19 RBIs. His strikeout rate is below his career average and hosts a .674 slugging percentage, which would be the best in his entire career.

Over 162 games, Judge is on pace to hit around 60 homers, which would best his record of 52 back in 2017. While it is unlikely he achieves that incredible feat, the Yankees are seeing why he’s so valuable as both an offensive and defensive threat.

Inadvertently, he also creates a few memorable moments for fans in the outfield.

Aaron Judge could be Mets’ top target in free agency next off-season