The New York Yankees are winning and smiling in the early stages of the 2022 MLB season.
They earned a hard-fought walk-off win against the Toronto Blue Jays, their 21st victory of the season.
They have a healthy four-game cushion in the AL East standings and the best record in the American League.
And their best player, Aaron Judge, is raking and having one of the best seasons of his career.
Of course, the Yankees would have preferred to extend Judge before the season, and not have to deal with other teams negotiating with him and inflating his price.
But although the Yanks made a good offer, Judge rejected $213 million and bet on himself.
Judge Bet On Himself And Is Winning (So Far)
That bet, as of today, is paying off, as he is slashing .290/.356/.626 with 10 home runs (leading the league), 21 runs, 22 RBI, and a .982 OPS.
Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman commented on Judge’s contract status, probably for the last time in a while.
“Brian Cashman on Aaron Judge’s contract: ‘We’re not going to talk about it now going forward. Whether that means we’re not going to talk, I’m not saying that, but we’re not going to talk about it (publicly). But he’s been great. But that’s no surprise, because he is great,'” Bryan Hoch, the Yankees beat writer for MLB.com, tweeted.
Brian Cashman on Aaron Judge's contract:
"We're not going to talk about it now going forward. Whether that means we're not going to talk, I'm not saying that, but we're not going to talk about it (publicly). But he's been great. But that's no surprise, because he is great."
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) May 11, 2022
Judge had stated he doesn’t want to negotiate during the season, so unless the Yankees come up with a significantly improved offer, there won’t be many talks during the 2022 campaign.
With that being the situation, the slugger could be primed to enter free agency, where he could have a shot at a much better deal.
The Yankees should be viewed as the favorites to re-sign him, but as the Freddie Freeman-Atlanta Braves saga showed us, you should never say never.