All the focus is on Aaron Judge at the Winter Meetings in San Diego and whether he will remain with the Yankees or sign elsewhere, but it seems there may be something still nagging at Judge from earlier this year.
Judge was named Time’s Athlete of the Year and in a lengthy interview with the publication, Judge circled back to a situation that occurred at the start of the baseball season. As the negotiating window was closing between the Yankees and Judge before opening day, general manager Brian Cashman publicized the team’s final offer of seven years, $213.5 million in a press conference at Yankee Stadium.
Well apparently that never sat well with the superstar slugger and he felt blindsided by Cashman’s public revelation in front of reporters.
“We kind of said, Hey, let’s keep this between us,” Judge told Time. “I was a little upset that the numbers came out. I understand it’s a negotiation tactic. Put pressure on me. Turn the fans against me, turn the media on me. That part of it I didn’t like.”
It was the first time that Judge has publically expressed displeasure about Cashman’s decision to do that. And Judge’s own revelation comes as teams are vying to steal him away from the Yankees.
Questions have continued to persist over why Cashman had gone that route in the first place and the Yankees general manager said in November that Judge and his agent knew that he would make the offer public, insisting it would have made its way into the tabloids anyway.
“No, no. In my interactions with him right out of the gate thereafter was no different than it was before,” Cashman said in November when asked if Judge had expressed any displeasure about it. “I didn’t get any call from (Judge’s agent) Page Odle ’cause Page knew we were doing that.”
Now it seems that there may be more to it, but with Judge looking to cash in on his historic season, he too very well could be playing the negotiating game. Also included in the Time article was an anecdote about where Judge had thought he’d be in 10 years back when he was in his senior year of high school.
“In fact his wife, high school sweetheart Samantha Bracksieck, reminded him of a prediction he made in 2010, his senior year at Linden High School,” the article read. “‘I said, in 10 years, I’ll be married to Sam,’ says Judge, ‘and playing for the San Francisco Giants.’ Judge smiles. ‘I was like, that’d better not get out.'”
The Giants are viewed as the biggest threat to signing Judge away from New York and have already reportedly made him an offer. The offer, according to the New York Post’s Jon Heyman, is in the ballpark of $360 million, but the belief is that the Yankees still are the favorites to sign the slugger.
Whether that changes or how much the Time article changes that perception is yet to be seen, but Yankees fans are sure to be sitting on the edge of their seats as the wait continues for Judge to sign.