TAMPA — If the Yankees and aaron judge doesn’t agree to a contract extension before Opening Day, Judge will become a free agent after this season.
Judge made that clearer than ever when he spoke to a group of reporters after spring training on Tuesday.
“If we can talk and do something in spring training before the season starts, that would be ideal, especially since this is a big year,” Judge said.
“We have a lot of things to focus on over the course of the year, winning a division and winning a championship here in New York. I don’t want contract or extension talk and all that talk to be a distraction all year long. So if we can come to an agreement here in the spring before we go to New York, that would be wonderful and I would be honored. If not, we’ll talk after the season.”
The Yankees want to extend Judge, according to sources, although they have yet to have a single conversation about it with Judge’s agent.
A league source pointed to the fact that the Atlanta Braves signed the first baseman matt olson to an eight-year deal just two days after acquiring it in a trade as evidence that a major deal can be quickly negotiated.
At the moment, the Yankees’ front office is consumed by the abbreviated Hot Stove season. League sources said the team was in talks with the free-agent first baseman. antonio rizzo.
Once the 2022 roster is set, the Yanks will address Judge’s future.
Judge said he wasn’t bothered by the lack of talks to date.
“As my years have gone by playing professional baseball, you start to understand the business side of things a little bit and you see how things work and you understand that a lot of other things come first,” he said.
“The team comes first and there are a lot of things we have to do to put ourselves in the right position to get through this bump. So for me, I don’t take it personally. It doesn’t discourage me at all because it’s out of my hands.
“I think that on April 7 we will not talk about this anymore. We’re going to focus on winning ball games for the Yankees and whatever he can do. The last thing I want to do is be in the middle of May and after a good series now, people are saying, ‘Oh, are you going to sign an extension,’ or after a 0 out of 4, ‘You should have signed that extension! ‘”
judge’s partner Giancarlo Stanton he expressed optimism that the parties would come to an agreement for Judge to remain a Yankee.
“I hope the rest of our careers are together,” Stanton said. “And I think it will be resolved.”