Yankees Owner Talks Aaron Judge Contract Negotiations, Happy With Offseason Offer

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New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner defended the contract extension offer. Aaron Judge at the start of the 2022 season, which the slugger withdrew.

The judge refused an eight-year contract worth between $230.5 million and $234.5 million and was reportedly looking for a nine-year deal worth around $319.6 million. The referee set an arbitrary opening day deadline of April 8 and said he would not talk about a contract until after the season.

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Since then, Judge has been on an absolute tear, increasing his worth. Before Wednesday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, he led the majors in home runs (29) and points scored (64) as the All-Star break approached. He was on par with Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.

New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner cuts media contact before attending a May 18, 2016 Major League Baseball executive committee meeting in New York City.

New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner cuts media contact before attending a May 18, 2016 Major League Baseball executive committee meeting in New York City.
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens, file)

Steinbrenner, speaking to reporters, said he understands the value of an outfielder.

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“Aaron is a great Yankee and very valuable to this organization. He is an excellent leader. Obviously, this year he showed very good results, which we are all very happy about. “We will look and speak seriously. It means a lot to the organization. Nobody is going to deny it,” Steinbrenner said.

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees hits a sixth inning double in baseball's first doubleheader game against the Cleveland Guardians on Saturday, July 2, 2022 in Cleveland.

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees hits a sixth inning double in baseball’s first doubleheader game against the Cleveland Guardians on Saturday, July 2, 2022 in Cleveland.
(AP Photo/David Dermer)

“We made an offer that I think was very good. It was based, of course, on numbers, but partly it was also based on what he means to this organization. It was a combination of both. “I can’t make a deal. Of course we had less time than usual this off-season because of the lockout and everything. But I don’t regret anything. We’ll have discussions at some point.”

The judge agreed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration.

He was the main reason the Yankees became the best team in the league with a 58-23 record.

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees, second from right, stands in the dugout during the second inning of the team's baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, July 5, 2022.  The Pirates won 5-2.

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees, second from right, stands in the dugout during the second inning of the team’s baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. The Pirates won 5-2.
(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

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Steinbrenner called the Houston Astros a serious contender for American League dominance and would not mind playing the New York Mets. Metro World Series.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.