Aaron Judge says he is looking forward to arbitration hearing with New York Yankees

Aaron Judge says he is looking forward to arbitration hearing with New York Yankees

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Aaron Judge intends to just “wear a nice suit” and “show up and sit down” as a three-person arbitration panel debates whether the New York Yankees should pay their All-Star outfielder. Star the $21 million salary he thinks he’s worth this season.

The hearing will take place on Friday, sources told ESPN’s Buster Olney.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Judge said Tuesday afternoon before the Yankees’ game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field, though he did not confirm the day. “I’ve had people at my agency, previous players, who went through the process, say they hated it. And then other people who went through it said it was actually good to hear about it. [yourself].”

The last Yankees player to go to arbitration was reliever Dellin Betances in 2017, Judge’s record-setting Rookie of the Year season. An arbitration panel ruled in favor of the club, and Betances was open with his teammates about the hostility that ensued in the courtroom.

“[Betances] I just didn’t like how the process went. … he gave a lot to this organization, the numbers he put up over quite a few years, even though he wasn’t a closer, he did a lot of special things and maybe he thought he should be reciprocated for that, but he wasn’t. That will not happen,” Judge said. “It’s probably hard, but for me it’s plain and simple. I love this team, I love this organization and everything, but there’s a business side that sometimes I don’t like, I don’t think a lot of people like it, I don’t think the team likes it. [either] you have to go through and then you move on.

Manager Aaron Boone praised how Judge has handled himself during the process, which hasn’t affected his popularity or his performance. Earlier Tuesday, MLB announced the first results of the All-Star voting and Judge led all players with 1,512,368 votes. Judge can become the first Yankee to lead the majors in All-Star voting since Alex Rodriguez in 2008.

Judge’s 25 home runs this season are the most in the majors, and he became the third player in franchise history to hit at least 25 home runs in the Yankees’ first 62 games of a season, joining Babe Ruth. (28 in 1928 and 26 in 1930) and Mickey Mantle (27 in 1956).

“Whatever happens there, I know what Aaron’s focus is and what he wants to accomplish and I don’t expect anything to get in the way,” Boone said. “Obviously this is a great player, but a guy who’s also really good from start to finish, as far as handling whatever comes his way on his way to stardom, as far as being one of the faces of the game, as far as being a New York Yankee. The things that inevitably happen or come up, in this case contract situations and arbitration and all that, he’s fully equipped to handle those things and not affect what he does between the lines.”

As the season began, Judge expressed frustration at not finalizing a long-term contract extension with the Yankees, the club with which he has repeatedly said he wants to spend the rest of his major league career. Judge set himself an Opening Day deadline to agree to an extension that would have prevented him from reaching free agency. But he and the Yankees couldn’t come to an agreement, and general manager Brian Cashman said the team had offered a seven-year, $213.5 million extension that, along with the $17 million he offered in arbitration this season, would have made the package. complete. with a value of just over 230 million dollars.

Judge declined to address Cashman’s rare move in publicly revealing the terms of the Yankees’ offer, describing it as the business side of baseball, which he echoed Tuesday. Cashman, who released the specific numbers, was something that did not sit well with the Yankees’ clubhouse, sources told ESPN.

The parties will hold the hearing via video conference unless an agreement is reached, which cannot be ruled out entirely despite Judge saying he would not negotiate a contract extension during the season. The Yankees set a precedent in 2019, when pitcher Luis Severino agreed to a four-year, $40 million contract extension shortly before his arbitration hearing.

In terms of whether the impending audience has been on his mind or served as a distraction, Judge said his focus has been on winning games.

“We’re the best team in the league. That’s what I’ve been thinking about,” he said. “Being here with these guys and what we’ve been doing the last couple of months has made it pretty easy to focus on playing baseball. I could get caught up in contract stuff or arbitration stuff, but there’s no need. That’s what I’ve got.” . agents of”.


Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, who has been on the disabled list with tendonitis in his left Achilles tendon since May 24, held a live batting practice session at the team’s minor league complex in Tampa. early Tuesday. Injury seems to have hampered him this season, particularly in his last five appearances, in which he posted a 14.73 ERA after giving up six earned runs in 3⅔ innings.

Clay Holmes has dazzled by taking on the closer role, not allowing a run in 29 consecutive relief appearances from April 9 to June 18 (31⅓ innings pitched), surpassing Mariano Rivera’s 28-game streak for the longest streak long without runs by a Yankees pitcher in the franchise. history.

When asked if he thought he had lost his role to Holmes, Chapman said that was not his focus.

“I don’t look at it that way. I’m past that point in my career where I would fight for a role, for the closer role, I’ve been through that,” Chapman said. “When I got to the Major Leagues they gave me the opportunity to close and I took it. More or less the same is happening to me [Holmes]. I’m trying to get back, healthy, [to] help the team in any role. He’s doing an excellent job right now and he deserves the role he has.”

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