Steinbrenner meets with Judge, knows ‘we have a good thing’
NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner held a oneon-one meeting with Aaron Judge to make sure the star free agent slugger knows how much New York wants him back.
“I do believe he wants to be a Yankee. I think we’ve got a good thing going here,” Steinbrenner said Tuesday during a 30-minute question-andanswer session with reporters at the Major League Baseball owners meeting.
Judge turned down an offer from the Yankees ahead of opening day that would have been worth $213.5 million from 2023-29. Steinbrenner said he approved general manager Brian Cashman making the offer public since he thought it would leak out.
Steinbrenner says other commitments wouldn’t restrain the Yankees in talks with Judge.
“We know where we’re at, and I can tell you that that’s not going to stop us,” he said.
Judge set an American League record with 62 homers and tied for the major league lead with 131 RBIs. The likely AL MVP, he has said his preference is to remain with the Yankees.
Steinbrenner met alone with Judge and was involved in two or three other meetings with the right fielder that included others.
“I wanted him to know how I felt in case there was any — what’s the word I’m looking for? — in case there was, any lack of clarity on his part — ambiguity,” Steinbrenner said.
Steinbrenner spoke before it became known that first baseman Anthony Rizzo had agreed to a $40 million, two-year deal subject to a successful physical.
In other news, he said:
— Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza will be given a chance to earn infield jobs during spring training.
— Cashman’s new contract is “just semantics at this point. I’ve told him that I want him back,” Steinbrenner said. “It’s just a matter of salary.”
Judge could become Yankees captain if he stays in the Bronx. Steinbrenner said he envisions Judge as another in a line of Yankees all-time greats, such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and Derek Jeter.