Former Yankee Gary Sheffield weighs in on Aaron Judge contract situation

Aaron Judge New York Yankees
New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) hits an RBI single against the Baltimore Orioles during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium.
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. 

That was Gary Sheffield’s message this week to New York Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge. The former New York Mets and Yankees outfielder warned Judge that the free-agent market doesn’t always pan out the way he might think it would. 

Judge and the Yankees did not reach an agreement on a contract extension before the start of this season, which means the 30-year-old right fielder is set to become a free agent this upcoming offseason. He is looking for a long-term deal worth more than $200 million.

“In his situation, I think that’s the perfect place for him to be. Always leaving is not the answer,” Sheffield told Fox News this week. “The grass is not greener on the other side. In his case, when you talk about the Yankees, you think of Aaron Judge. When you think of Aaron Judge, you don’t think of him in Seattle or Boston or anywhere else. These guys got to come to that conclusion and start looking at what’s best for their future long term.”

Judge rejected a seven-year deal worth $213 million before the start of the season, which Yankees general manager Brian Cashman revealed at a surprise press conference. 

At the time Aaron Judge said that he was disappointed a deal couldn’t get done and that as of now he’d be a free agent once the offseason rolls around. His plan then would be to talk to all 30 MLB clubs, including the Yankees, but the immediate focus was on the season. 

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“I want to bring a championship back to New York,” Judge said.  “I want to do it for the fans here. Not getting that done right now, it stinks. But I’ve got a job to do on the field. I’ll shift my focus to that now.”

In 89 at-bats this season, Judge has had a batting average of .303 and he hit his ninth home run of the year in the Bronx Bombers’ 9-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. The blast ties him with fellow teammate Anthony Rizzo and Colorado Rockies’ first baseman C.J. Cron for the league lead in homers. 

Sheffield was asked about the Judge situation during a celebrity golf tournament in Las Vegas. Sheffield was a member of the Yankees from 2004 to 2006 and finished his career with the Mets in 2009.