The slugging outfielder wants to stay with the squad that drafted him, merely he does not want to talk well-nigh a contract extension once the flavour begins.


Kim Klement/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

TAMPA, Fla. — The Yankees’ beginning game of the 2022 regular season is iii weeks away. By then, their biggest star, who is inbound his final season earlier free bureau, hopes to have clarity on his future with the team.

“April 7, we won’t be talking nearly this anymore,” outfielder Aaron Approximate said on Tuesday, referencing the date of the team’south flavour opener at Yankee Stadium confronting the Boston Cherry-red Sox.

He added later: “The concluding thing I want to do is be in the eye of May after a good series and people talking, ‘Oh, you lot going to sign an extension?’ Or after an 0 for 4, ‘You should take signed that extension.’ We’ll endeavour to get everything out of the mode right now while we’re still prepping and getting ready for the season. But once it’south Apr 7 and a packed firm in the Bronx, it’south going to be time to focus on winning brawl games and that’south it.”

That game could be Judge’s final opening day in pinstripes. A first-round option in 2013, he came upwards with the Yankees in 2016 and was the face of the franchise past 2017. That year, his showtime full flavor in the majors, he was an All-Star, the American League rookie of the year and runner-up for most valuable histrion.

Injuries take slowed the 6-foot-7, 282-pound Estimate at times, but his production has not wavered. Though he has missed most a quarter of the Yankees’ games (164 of 709 games) since the start of 2017 season, he is the fourth near valuable player in Major League Baseball in that bridge, according to
FanGraphs, with his 24.five wins above replacement trailing merely Mike Trout, Mookie Betts and Jose Ramirez’south.

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Concluding season — Estimate’due south healthiest 1 since 2017 — he played in 148 games and led the Yankees in many offensive categories, including batting average (.287), home runs (39), runs batted in (98) and on-base of operations plus slugging percent (.916). He was also named an All-Star for the third time.


Johnny Milano for The New York Times

Judge’due south powerful bat and sharp eye at the plate are well known. His agility on the basepaths and in right field, despite his size, can surprise fans. And in a clubhouse that has had its fair share of turnover through the years — the longtime Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner remains a costless agent and catcher Gary Sanchez was
traded away days ago
— Judge is 1 of the longest tenured Yankees and known as a leader.

“It’southward been great playing with him and watching him grow as a actor and person,” said Giancarlo Stanton, another slugging outfielder whom the Yankees caused before the 2018 season. “I hope the remainder of our careers are together. And I recall we’ll become it figured out.”

Some other significant factor in any potential contract extension for Estimate: his age. He turns xxx next month, so he will exist 31 during about of the 2023 flavour, the kickoff of whatsoever new deal he signs. While teams have increasingly shied away from long-term contracts for players in their 30s, given the aging bend, they take at least been willing to make exceptions for the types of stars who truly impact a squad and draw fans to the stadium.

Entering his final year before free agency, Judge is estimated to make roughly $17 million through salary arbitration. (The engagement past which to exchange salary requests is March 22, and it sometimes leads to long-term deals.) Judge has made it known for years now, though, that he doesn’t want to go anywhere else.

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“As long equally I’thousand playing baseball, I want to be wearing pinstripes,” Judge said on Tuesday, the second day of workouts at the Yankees’ leap training facility in Tampa. “Information technology’s been an honor and a blessing to be here, getting a take chances to play for this franchise, to exist surrounded by then many bang-up players and walk in the footsteps of and then many other former great players that have played this game. There’s no better identify to play on this planet.”

He added subsequently, “I want to stay hither in pinstripes. If that happens, that happens. But if it comes to it that information technology doesn’t, I’ll enjoy my memories hither.”

On Monday, General Manager Brian Cashman said the team had not yet talked to Guess and his agent about an extension. And given that this bound preparation began belatedly and is truncated subsequently
a labor dispute that ended just last week, the Yankees are on the clock, as Cashman put it.

“We’d like to have him back if we can,” Cashman told reporters on Monday. “Like everything else, merely like trades and free agency, you accept to be on the same page and common ground. The only mode to find out is to accept some conversations, first and foremost. Those will happen, and we’ll try to keep it as private equally we tin.”

He added later, “Nosotros’re happy he’s a Yankee, and information technology’d be bang-up if we could make him a Yankee longer.”


Johnny Milano for The New York Times

Judge insisted on Tuesday that he wasn’t disappointed that the Yankees had non yet approached him with an offer to stay longer, nor was he concerned that they would run out of time.

“Considering, to be honest, there’s so many other holes and positions and stuff that we got to make full,” he said. 1 of those holes was addressed on Tuesday when the squad
agreed to bring back first baseman Anthony Rizzo
on a two-year contract.

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Frustrated each postseason that the Yankees fall curt, Judge called 2022 an important year. Like every twelvemonth, the Yankees — the franchise with the nearly Globe Serial titles (27) in Thou.L.B. simply none since 2009 — desire to finally end their championship drought.

Because of a
New York City vaccine mandate
for people performing in-person work, it was unclear if Guess would be able to play in abode games this flavor. While the policy could change, Judge sidestepped a question nearly his vaccination status on Tuesday, saying he was more concerned about the first spring training games later this week.

“We’ll cantankerous that bridge when the times comes,” he said. “Merely right at present, and so many things could change. Then I’one thousand non really too worried about that right now.”

In terms of his future, Judge’s spring preparation borderline isn’t new. Many players have successfully used that strategy in the past. (Come across:
Francisco Lindor of the Mets.) So even though Judge has stated his preference, it would exist difficult to imagine him ignoring a fair or generous bargain only because information technology arrived in, say, May.

Judge also said on Tuesday that if zero came to fruition earlier opening solar day, he would talk to the Yankees after the season. But until and then, the Yankees are the merely team immune to negotiate with him. In the side by side off-season, Judge tin can talk to the other 29 teams.

Cashman noted that players generally preferred to take contract extensions done before the season so they did not have to think nigh them anymore. “But that’s what agents are for at the aforementioned fourth dimension,” he added. “A lot of times you tin accept conversations, and the player is not a office of it until the very end.”