Aaron Judge may be entering the final year of his contract with the Yankees, but it sounds like managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner is open to extending his captain-like slugger.
Steinbrenner told Ken Davidoff of the New York Post that he's willing to work on a long-term contract with Judge, keeping New York's best player in pinstripes for years to come.
"Look, he’s a great Yankee. He’s one of the faces of the franchise,” Steinbrenner said of Judge. “He’s a great leader, great in the clubhouse. It’s definitely something I’m willing to talk to [general manager Brian Cashman] about. But nothing formal has happened yet.”
Judge had one of the best seasons of his career in 2021, silencing doubters that questioned his durability while flexing his top-tier skills in the batter's box. Playing in 148 games, and earning a trip to his third All-Star Game, Judge whacked 39 home runs with 98 RBI, 89 runs scored and a .916 OPS.
The only time Judge was sidelined was when the slugger tested positive for COVID-19 during one of the Yankees' internal outbreaks this summer.
Judge has made it clear repeatedly that he wants to stay with the Yankees. At the end of the season, No. 99 mentioned that he wants to be a Yankee for life. Recently, he told Fanatics that his goal is to finish his career in pinstripes.
In order for that to happen, however, New York will need to present the 29-year-old with a lucrative deal at some point in the near future. They can always wait until next winter to sign him as a free agent, but that would allow Judge to begin discussing possible contracts with other teams.
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