Then, at some point in the last couple of days (especially on Tuesday), momentum was starting to shift toward the San Francisco Giants.
Late last night, however, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner talked with Judge over the phone and asked him if he wanted to be a Yankee.
The player responded affirmatively, but said he had better offers on the table.
When Steinbrenner went from eight years and $320 million to nine years and $360 million, Judge committed to the Bombers and that was the end of the Giants’ hopes.
San Francisco had a similar offer for Judge, and the San Diego Padres went even further with a 10-year, $400 million pact.
You could say that Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone (he also talked to Judge on Tuesday) were the starter and setup man, respectively, and Steinbrenner made his best Mariano Rivera impersonation to secure the win.
“Brian Cashman said that Hal Steinbrenner ‘was the Mariano Rivera’ of the Aaron Judge negotiations, in terms of closing it out,” MLB insider Bryan Hoch tweeted.
Brian Cashman said that Hal Steinbrenner “was the Mariano Rivera” of the Aaron Judge negotiations, in terms of closing it out.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) December 7, 2022
Judge Would Have Been Impossible To Replace
Losing Judge would have not only affected the Yanks on the diamond, where they would have needed to replace 133 runs, 131 RBI, 62 home runs and a .425 OBP; but also off the field.
Judge is seen as a clubhouse leader and a fan favorite in New York.
With his on-field production, merchandise sales, and overall impact, Judge can justify the Yankees’ investment very soon.
He is one of the best players in baseball, and the Yankees paid him like one.
He will likely be named captain, too.
The Yankees gave Judge the keys to the franchise.
Hopefully for them, he won’t crash the vehicle.