The opening day arrived in the Bronx on Friday, the sun washing the green grass at Yankee Stadium. The Boston Red Sox may have floated away from their hotel.
“It’s a special place,” said their manager, Alex Cora, before attempting to strike. “If you want your alarm clock to be up this morning – sorry.”
To Yankee and Aaron Judge, the alarm went off with a trumpet blast. They ended the day happily, with a 6-5 victory in the next victory with their third runner-up, Josh Donaldson, in the 11th inning.
Today was the last day for a Judge to sign a contract extension before the season, to qualify for a free trial. There were no final discussions; Two hours before the singing, General Manager Brian Cashman said talks were over, especially for now.
The Yankees, Cashman said, have given Judge, the founder of their cornerstone, a seven-year, $ 213.5 million contract that will start in 2023. The judge, who turns 30 this month, said no.
“Our goal is for Aaron Judge to remain as the New York Yankee as we move forward, and I know that’s his goal, which is a good thing,” Cashman said. “Obviously we will be doing this in a new forum, which could be at the end of the season, once the free service starts. Maybe this will determine what its real market would be like, because we can’t agree right now.”
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The Yankees were quiet during the break, especially ignoring the strong free market. The idea was that the Judge would be too proud, and if he signed the agreement, it would be the second largest offer since the World Series, following Corey Seager’s 10-year, $ 325 million contract with Texas.
The Yankees added two players each day, Donaldson and Kiner-Falefa, on a trade with Minnesota to two more, Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela. He still retained the first singer Anthony Rizzo and sold him Miguel Castro, but he stood up.
“When it comes to turning the clock back, I have nothing to say about that,” Cashman said. “I see that we have done well in many of the things we need to deal with, and, while we still have the potential, if someone changes their mind, to keep the player we want to keep.”
There is no law against the Yankees continuing to negotiate with the Judge. The final time was his way, and the Judge set it up at the end of the spring course. The Yankees, Cashman said, would be willing to continue talking.
“I respect his role,” Cashman said. But I will not stop, if the opportunity arises, to repeat things later. I mean, it’s very good for a player, from my end, to be stubborn and say, ‘No, no, we won’t talk again.’ If there is something that each side needs to change or listen to, I feel free to do so at all times. ”
Cashman said he would not know if the Yankees would offer the same after the season; they can be high or low, depending on what is happening at the time. The threat is now shifting to Judge.
Some players bet on themselves and come out on top; Max Scherzer once refused to extend a $ 144 million contract from Detroit and received $ 210 million from Washington in a free agency. Once again, some lose bets, such as Juan Gonzalez, who also rejected the Tigers’ offer, $ 140 million, and spent nearly $ 46 million on his entire career.
The Yankees and Judge have not yet settled on the 2022 payoff; he is expected to hear the debate to determine if the Judge will receive $ 21 million, as required, or give the Yankees $ 17 million.
“Just starting a conversation was a blessing,” said Judge. “I never thought I would have such an opportunity in my life. It is not something that is guaranteed. Just thinking of going this route with the Yankees is a special thing. I know I was confirmed last year; it was a controversial year, and that’s what I’m looking for. I have one year to play and developing a contract is good, but I have some great things to consider. “
It is difficult to predict how old the Judge will be, since there has never been a player of his size to use as a basis for comparison. Judge is the only player in the history of the sport, according to Baseball Reference, to be at least 6 feet 7 inches and 275 pounds.
Adam Dunn was close, an inch shorter than the Judge and a little heavier. A confident young man in his 40s to 30s, Dunn did not age well and was completed before the age of 35. A better comparison to his fellow Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, who weighed 6-foot-6 by 245 pounds and signed for 37 years.
The Yankees ratified the agreement (with a small fee) in trading with Miami after the 2017 season. It was only natural for them to dedicate themselves to the Judge for the same period of time as Stanton, who was two and a half years old. But was it wise?
Stanton, who fired a homer in the first row of right-backs on Friday, has had two healthy seasons in New York, and two have been shortened by injuries. The referee followed a similar pattern: he was as stable as a rookie and last season, but missed 37 percent of the Yankees’ game in the middle three years.
This season, Judge could be forced to miss the Yankees game in Toronto. Only players with a coronavirus vaccine are allowed to enter Canada, and Judge has been complaining about his vaccine. Cashman will not say what role, if any, has played in the negotiations.
When the Red Sox signed the founder of Trevor Story last month (six years, $ 140 million), they made it a point to get the Story vaccinated. This is a wise request for a team player – especially for a star who is interested in a clubhouse, such as a Judge and the Yankees.
“He’s the last one,” said Manager Aaron Boone. “He’s probably the biggest player in the room and he’s an amazing player who wants to get out and be great and want nothing more than to be in a sports club. There’s no doubt in my mind that whatever the outcome will be, nothing will change the way Aaron does things. ”
Boone speaks before the game, after Judge meets the press with his locker. They now have space at the end of the clubhouse, between an empty space and the entrance to an unlimited area. It is a mark of the position of Judge, given by the clubhouse manager, Rob Cucuzza. Former residents included Jorge Posada, Carlos Beltran and Brett Gardner.
“I talked to Gardy a little bit about this – he said, ‘Be careful,'” the Judge said. “It is a great honor. I talked to Robby about it, and he asked me if I wanted to live on earth. I said, ‘I’m just thankful you think I should be here on earth, which means a lot.’ I hope I keep this locker safe. “
It can be a temporary lease.