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Aaron Judge didn’t love that New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman publicly revealed the terms of the offer that the All-Star slugger declined earlier this year.
“We kind of said, ‘Hey, let’s keep this between us,'” Judge told Time magazine for a piece that recognized him as Athlete of the Year. “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.”
Cashman told media members ahead of Opening Day that Judge had rejected New York’s seven-year, $213.5 million contract extension offer. The 30-year-old went on to earn American League Most Valuable Player honors and set a new AL single-season record of 62 home runs before he hit free agency following the World Series. It’s assumed he will sign a massive deal worth over $300 million with either the Yankees or San Francisco Giants.
“When I was young and getting into the game, all guys ever talked about was, ‘Hey, wait until you become a free agent,'” Judge told Time about this stage of his career. “You’re getting a chance to make your own decision, start a legacy somewhere, start something new somewhere. I’m looking forward to the whole process, man. It’s going to be special.”
Back in May, Cashman insisted he was “unaware” Judge may have been upset over the executive confirming details about the Yankees’ extension offer.
“And it certainly doesn’t feel like it when I’ve interacted with him from then till now,” Cashman added at that time.
The Yankees announced Monday they had re-signed Cashman on a four-year deal that runs through the 2026 season. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Buster Olney said last week that some within the organization think Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner “is willing to chase Judge in a way Cashman is not.”