Now that the World Series is over, the real chase begins. The chase for Aaron Judge.
The Yankees get the initial shot at retaining presumed AL MVP Aaron Judge over the next five days. Judge, 30, smashed an AL record 62 home runs while leading the majors in almost every major offense category.
Oddly enough, the man heading those negotiations from the Yankees side, GM Brian Cashman, is also without a contract. Barring a colossal breakdown, Cashman will be retained.
So what will is take to keep Judge from heading home to California? The Dodgers and Giants figure to be major players if the Yanks can’t come to an agreement with no. 99. Judge famously pushed all of his chips into the middle of the table by rejecting the Yankees $213 million extension offer just before Spring Training. Judge and the team agreed to table negotiations until after the season.
My best guess is if the Yankees offer eight years at $350 million, that gets the job done. Now if the Dodgers or Giants come in at $400, he’s gone. There’s never been a player like Judge. He’s the biggest player in the game and the face of baseball. Yes, that’s my East Coast Bias coming out. Shohei Ohtani probably nets a bigger deal if he doesn’t eliminate an entire side of the country and looks to burnish his Cooperstown credentials with a contender.
Now is the time we find out what Hal Steinbrenner is made of. It’s going to take serious dollars to keep Judge in the Bronx. Steinbrenner has been married to his precious budget since assuming control of the Yankees. That’s like buying a Mustang for the simple fact of driving it to the grocery store. He’s got capital. He’s got the biggest revenue stream in baseball. Don’t be fooled, the Yankees can get any player if they really want him.
We at Pinstripe Perspective are going to dive into this in the near future. Drop your guesses in the comments or shoot them my way on Twitter, leswilliams23.