What Will The Future Hold For Judge And The Yankees?

The game came down to Aaron Judge. The Yankees have been steering into this situation all summer long. Aaron Judge is the most recognizable slugger and the team’s last hope of staving off winter for another evening.

It was midnight in New York and time was running out for the Yankees. Judge hit the ball hard, but it was an easy out for the Astros. Pressly threw the ball back to first base and the Astros won the game 6-5.

Judge ran to first base then looked over his shoulder as the Astros started celebrating. This might have been his last at-bat as a Yankee.

“I am grateful to wear the pinstripes and play right field at Yankee Stadium. I never took it for granted and always checked myself before each game. Not many people get the chance to play on that field in front of the fans.”

It was, as Brian Cashman said, a bet that is better than any other bet ever. Judge turned down a seven-year, $213.5 million extension from the Yankees on Opening Day, and had a great season instead. In 157 games, Judge batted .311/.425/.686, leading the Majors in homers, runs (133), RBIs (131), slugging percentage, on-base percentage, OPS+ (211) and total bases (391).

He was chasing to break Roger Maris’ record for home runs in a single season. He hit the 62nd home run in the first game of an Oct. 4 doubleheader at Texas.

The postseason was not good for Judge, who was very tired from chasing the mark. In nine games, he got five hits in thirty-six tries, with two home runs and three runs batted in. He didn’t get any hits in the last sixteen tries against Houston.

“I hope to stay in New York, but I’m a free agent now so we’ll see what happens.”

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that Judge’s 2022 season was “great,” adding that Judge is “someone that I’ve become close with and just admire and respect. I hope we’ll see him in pinstripes for a long time. I don’t want to think about the alternative right now.”

It is not immediately clear what Judge will seek in free agency, though it’s notable that Gerrit Cole is currently the club’s highest-paid player at $36 million per year; Judge will certainly seek more money than Cole, and could potentially look to exceed Max Scherzer’s AAV record of $43.3 million.

“He deserves to be paid a lot because he took a risk and did well,” Anthony Rizzo said. “In my opinion, he is now the best player in the game.”

“We want Aaron Judge back as a Yankee,” said Cashman. “He’s put himself in a great position to have a lot of choices. We’ve said that before the season, and we’ll continue to say it. We hope to win the discussion.”

The judge said he would talk to his agent and family about his plans for free agency. He said he had talked to Giancarlo Stanton and Cole about their contracts, but Stanton’s situation was different because it was a long-term extension with the Marlins. Cole advised Judge to “take your time.”

I will keep in touch with him because he is my friend and a great teammate. I will support him through the negotiation process because he is a special player who deserves everything he is getting.

Judge’s teammates are hoping he stays with the Yankees. DJ LeMahieu said it would be a surprise if he didn’t, because it seems like he wants to, but sometimes business gets in the way. pitcher Nestor Cortes thinks Judge should be captain if he stays, and Rizzo agrees.

Most jarringly, Judge spoke about the Yankees in the past tense, hinting at what is to come this offseason.

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