The All-Star outfielder is in the last year of arbitration eligibility, and will hit the free agent market after the season if there is no deal for an extension.
In fact, the player and the team haven’t even been able to agree on his salary for the 2022 campaign.
During Tuesday’s exchanges, the outfielder asked for $21 million and the Yankees countered with $17 million.
It’s a considerable difference: $4 million is definitely not insignificant.
The player once again talked about the situation on Wednesday in the Yankees’ camp.
Per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, Judge said he is still optimistic, “but it’s a short window (before Opening Day).” he also said that he “wants to be a Yankee for life” and hopes to avoid the arbitration process.
Aaron Judge: “I’m optimistic, but it’s a short window (before Opening Day).” Judge said again that he “wants to be a Yankee for life” and hopes to avoid the arbitration process. He mentioned how upset Dellin Betances was after his 2017 arb hearing.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 23, 2022
Will Judge Be A Yankee For Life?
Making him a “Yankee for life” would be very expensive for the organization, but it’s what they want and should do, especially now that they didn’t give away any big contracts in free agency.
The part in which Judge mentioned how upset Dellin Betances was after his 2017 arbitration hearing can’t be ignored, however.
If the situation doesn’t change, Judge and the Yankees will likely go to a hearing, and those can get very, very ugly: teams try to find shortcomings or weaknesses in players to try and diminish their value.
It’s not a good look, especially not ideal considering there could be a negotiation for a long-term contract.
Judge, 29, remains one of the most productive hitters in MLB.
He hit .287/.373/.544 with 39 homers and 98 RBI in 2021, and is worth a lucrative deal.
He is looking for one and he hopes to get it from the Yankees.