TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — New York Yankees star slugger Aaron Judge will soon get a proposal for a long-term contract extension, general manager Brian Cashman said Saturday.
“Between now and opening day we’ll make an offer and he’ll obviously receive an offer and all the conversions will have taken place and will either resolve into a multiyear deal or it won’t,” Cashman said.
“We’re committed. We’ll make an offer and hear what he has to say in response and then it will be pencils down before opening day,” he said.
The Yankees open on April 7 at home against the Boston Red Sox.
Judge said Saturday he was “pretty sure” he doesn’t want to negotiate a new contract during the regular season. The outfielder, who turns 30 next month, is eligible to become a free agent after the World Series.
“We haven’t decided yet, but for right now that’s what we’ve got,” Judge said. “I want to be here. Get a chance to play here for quite a few more years, that would be great. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I’m not too worried.”
The Yankees and Judge so far have failed to reach a deal for 2022, which could result in the two sides heading into arbitration during the season. He asked for a raise from $10,175,000 to $21 million, and the Yankees offered $17 million.
“Our position has always been, we wind up only in a hearing if we’re dragged there,” Cashman said. “We only go when forced to go. We’re not afraid of going. Our history shows that we stay out of that arena unless we’re compelled to get there. We’ll see how it all plays out.”
Judge, who hit .287 with 39 homers and 98 RBIs in 148 games last season, hopes an agreement can be reached to avoid arbitration.
“Go back and forth until we, maybe, can settle on something before the court date and if not, we’ll see each other in court,” Judge said.
Judge said the contract talk isn’t a distraction.
“Not really, I’m a baseball player,” he said. “I’m going to come out and do my usual on the field. I’ve got people that are going to worry about the other stuff for me and put me in the right position and give me the right answers. If I take care of what I’ve got to do on the field, everything is going to workout.”
Cashman has been in contact a few times since spring training started with the agent for outfielder Brett Gardner, who is a free agent after playing for the Yankees from 2008-21.
“Right now we’re focused on what we have, to be honest,” Cashman said.
Gardner, 38, hit .222 with a .327 on-base percentage in 140 games last season.
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