Yankee Update on Aaron Judge: No updates coming

Wednesday was the midpoint of the 2022 season for the Yankees. In 81 games, they not only had the best record (58-23) in Major League Baseball, but they were also one step ahead to equal the 1906 Chicago Cubs and 2001 Seattle Mariners for the most wins (116 ) in 162 matches. regular season game.

One of the main reasons for the Yankees’ success is outfielder Aaron Judge. Coming into play Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, he led MLB with 29 home runs, was fifth in on-base percentage plus .972, and tied for sixth in non-substitution wins. according to Fangraphs.

However, the future of the judge hung over the Yankees all season. A longtime Yankee who says he wants to stay in the pinstripe, Judge will be eligible for free agency for the first time in his career after the season. In spite of Yankee attempt to sign him by a long-term extension before the regular season, he will be allowed – and he has indicated he will – to speak to all 30 teams over the winter. But until then, he says, he doesn’t want to negotiate.

“No matter what happens during the season, we’re not going to give any updates,” Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ managing general partner, said during a video call with reporters Wednesday.

“We’re just not going to do it,” he continued. “I completely agree with Aaron – and still agree – that this is in no way, form or form, a distraction. The only goal is to win the championship. That’s all there is to worry about right now.”

Before the start of the season, Steinbrenner authorized the front office to offer the referee an extension that would guarantee him $213.5 million for seven years. Despite Judge having a season — he comes close to matching or surpassing his 2017 season, in which he won the American League Rookie of the Year award and became MVP runner-up — and like his price tag, probably gone up, Steinbrenner said he had no regrets about the rejected Yankee offer.

He said the team’s proposal was “very good” and based on numbers and “what he means to this organization.” Due to labor struggles with players over the winter, Steinbrenner said the lockout shortened the time the Yankees could negotiate with Judge before the start of the season.

But still, Steinbrenner said the team will talk to Judge after the season. He said he hoped Judge, who turned 30 in April, would stay in the pinstripe, but “there’s a lot of discussion ahead.”

“He was phenomenal,” Steinbrenner later added.

A World Series win, the Yankees’ first since 2009, could help the referee win a record-breaking outfielder contract. Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, 30, a three-time ALMVP, is averaging $35.5 million a year through 2030.

Although there were many questions early in the season about whether they had done enough to improve, the Yankees were the best team in baseball. Behind right-hander Gerrit Cole and left-hander Nestor Cortes, the pitching rotation was the backbone of the roster. The bullpen has found stability in Clay Holmes and Michael King, while Aroldis Chapman, Zach Britton and Jonathan Loaisiga have dealt with injuries.

But the lineup improved the most (in particular, the strikeout rate dropped) and defense, replacing catcher Gary Sanchez with Jose Trevino and pal Gleiber Torres with Isaiah Keener-Falef and moving Torres to second base.

“I didn’t spend $300 million on this, but I think most people are very happy with Isaiah and the work he has done,” Steinbrenner said, allegedly referring to the team’s $259 million wealth tax record. dollars, which was behind the Mets ($288 million) and the Los Angeles Dodgers ($302 million). Steinbrenner faced criticism during the offseason for keeping top leads and not signing a valuable free agent like Corey Seeger or Carlos Correa.

“I knew we had a team capable of great things, but I’m not going to sit here and say that I absolutely knew that they would go to the historic start that they are,” Steinbrenner said. He called the team special not only in terms of playing on the field, but also in the club.

Steinbrenner also cited new members of manager Aaron Boone’s coaching staff, specifically hitting coach Dillon Lawson, as the main reasons this season has been better for the Yankees, who went 92-70 in 2021 and lost to the Boston Reds. Sox” in AL. wild game. After a below-average rating last season, the Yankees’ offense (five runs per game) is second only to the Dodgers (5.04 runs per game) in scoring this year.

As for potential ways to strengthen the squad ahead of Aug. 2 trading term, Steinbrenner said he has not yet sat down from the front office. He said the team never gets enough pitching and reiterated his reluctance to trade prospects.

Steinbrenner predicted that his team could face the Houston Astros, who won a tainted 2017 World Series title and have been tough playoff opponents ever since. He also dreamed of an all-New York World Series with the Mets, who were one of the best teams in the National League.

“Having two good teams is good and that’s what we have,” he said. “And the meeting in the postseason, I’m all for it. That means I’ll be there.”