Will Aaron Judge re-sign with the Yankees in free agency?

NEW YORK — It was about Judge Aaron once again, a situation the Yankees found themselves in all summer. Assuming the familiar and commanding position that cracked an American League record 62 homers during the regular season, the game’s most recognizable slugger was the team’s last hope to stave off winter for another night.

But the clock had already struck midnight in New York, and soon it would be for the 2022 Yankees too. the ball to first base with a sneaky flip, the Astros’ last out. Victory 6-5 on the Yankees in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series.

Judge ran along the baseline, planted his right foot on first base, then glanced over his left shoulder as the Astros began to celebrate on the field — his home turf. Though technically that’s not the case anymore: for the first time in his pro career, Judge will be free, testing the waters of free agency, and there’s a chance that marked his last at bat in a Yankees uniform. .

“To have the chance to wear the stripes and play on the right field at Yankee Stadium is an incredible honor,” Judge said. “I certainly didn’t take it for granted at any time. I always controlled myself before the game when I said a little prayer, looked around the stadium and pinched myself. There are very few individuals who have the chance to run on this ground and play in front of the fans.

It was, as general manager Brian Cashman said, “the best bet ever.” The judge denied a seven-year, $213.5 million extension from the Yankees on Opening Day, responding with a season for the ages. In 157 games, Judge batted .311/.425/.686, leading the Majors in home runs, runs (133), RBIs (131), slugging percentage, on-base percentage, OPS+ (211) and total bases (391).

His pursuit to break Roger Maris’ 61-year-old AL record for single-season homers captivated the sports world, culminating in a 62nd homer in Game 1 of an Oct. 4 doubleheader in Texas.

Still, the playoffs didn’t go so well for Judge, perhaps gassed by the grueling run for the brand, though he never admitted it. In nine postseason games, Judge went .139 (5 ​​for 36) with two homers and three RBIs, hitless with a walk in the ALCS Finals.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Judge’s 2022 season was “incredible,” adding that Judge is “someone I’ve grown close to and look up to and respect and hopefully we’ll see. scratched for a long time. I don’t even want to think about the alternative right now.

It’s not immediately clear what Judge will be looking for in free agency, although it should be noted that Gerrit Cole is currently the club’s highest-paid player at $36 million a year; Judge will certainly be looking north of that (Mike Trout is the highest-paid position player by average annual value at $35.5 million), and Judge could potentially be looking to surpass Max Scherzer’s AAV record of 43.3. millions of dollars.

“Anything he gets will be astronomical, and he deserves it,” Anthony Rizzo said. “He bet on himself on the biggest stage, in the biggest market and did it with ease. He should be rewarded as the highest paid player in the game. He’s the new gold standard, at My opinion.

Judge said he plans to take some time to discuss his pending free agency with his agent, Page Odle, and his family. The judge said he spoke with Giancarlo Stanton and Gerrit Cole about their respective contract lawsuits.

“I haven’t even thought about the next step yet,” Judge said. “We have time to understand. I have never been to this place before.

“It was a special moment,” Judge said. “I’m just kicking myself for not bringing this championship home.”

Comments are closed.