Aaron Judge is holding Brian Cashman in contempt.
The free agent outfielder could decide to walk away from the Yankees this offseason, a thought that seems fairly inconceivable given the season he just had. Though, if Judge does walk, it may not be about the financials as much as it was about a certain contract offer revealed on Opening Day.
Judge, who was recently named Time’s Athlete of the Year, said in a profile by the magazine that he was displeased with Yankees GM Brian Cashman making the terms of the team’s final contract offer to him on Opening Day public.
“We kind of said, ‘Hey, let’s keep this between us,'” Judge said in the Time feature. “I was a little upset that the numbers came out. I understand it’s a negotiation tactic. Put pressure on me. Turn the fans against me, turn the media on me. That part of it I didn’t like.”
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The 2021 offseason negotiations between Judge and Cashman resulted in Judge turning down a seven-year, $213.5 million contract extension from the Yankees. In an unorthodox move, Cashman made the Yankees’ offer public in an Opening Day press conference.
With a self-imposed Opening Day deadline, the two sides didn’t negotiate throughout the 2022 season — a season in which Judge was named AL MVP and broke the American League home run record with 62 bombs.
That success is sure to parlay into a massive new deal that should far exceed the Yankees’ original Opening Day offer. The free agent outfielder is expected to make a decision on his next team soon, with several suitors involved, including the Yankees, Giants and a few mystery teams.
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Coincidentally, Cashman recently put pen to paper on a four-year deal to remain the Yankees’ general manager, removing any doubt that the team would go in a different direction in the front office this offseason.
There’s obviously a reality in which Judge will end up back with the Yankees. Money talks — but maybe the Yankees GM shouldn’t in the future.