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The Yankees Are Smart To Delay Extension Talks With Aaron Judge

According to Aaron Judge himself, the Yankees have not approached him about a contract extension. He says the team has ‘other priorities,’ like building this year’s roster, but maybe the Yankees just don’t trust his health?

When Judge plays, he’s arguably the best right fielder in baseball. The problem for the star (and the entire Yankees roster, really) is that he can’t stay healthy. In 2017, he played in 155 games and mashed 52 homers. But take a look at the number of games he has played (“G”) since 2018:

Doing the math, Judge participated in just 63% of games the Yankees have played since Opening Day 2018. Not that it’s easy to stay healthy or that Judge isn’t playing elite baseball (because he is), but you can’t pay a player who isn’t consistently available.

To be cliché, the best ability is availability.

So for right now, the Yankees are doing exactly what they should be doing — delaying contract negotiations. Prioritize spending on pitching, re-signing star second baseman DJ LeMahieu, and bolstering that bullpen. If Aaron Judge can prove he can maintain production for more than half a season, then the Yankees can re-open negotiations for a mega-contract.

And lastly, it should be clear that Yankees GM Brian Cashman would love to partner with Judge long term. However, it would be irresponsible for him to fork over $200-350 million for a player who may or may not be there.

Eventually you run out of paid time off. So pay attention not just to how Judge plays this year, but how often he plays. If he’s on the field–don’t be surprised if the Yankees quickly pivot towards the negotiating table.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for OutKick.com, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr

2 Comments

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  1. Yeah I can’t blame the Yankees. Judge spends more time on the DL than Britney Spears does at the psychiatrist. Financial times in mlb aren’t exactly “thriving” either. If I’m the Yankees front office I’m telling him, “Play 150+ games this year dude, and then will talk an extension. Until then forget it, because you’re career is projecting like Jason Werth 2 more than Ruth.”

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