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‘Turn the fans against me’ – Boston Herald


The Yankees wake up in San Diego on Tuesday morning with some more cause for concern in the Aaron Judge sweepstakes.

As it turns out, the AL home run king may have some lingering bad blood with Brian Cashman and the Yankees after they revealed the original seven-year, $213.5 million offer that Judge turned down prior to the start of last season.

“We kind of said, Hey, let’s keep this between us,” Judge told TIME in an interview for being named the magazine’s 2022 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.”

Judge added that after his somewhat slow start, he started to feel a little bit of the pressure of turning down the contract.

Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner have repeatedly said throughout the offseason that there was no indication that Judge had any animosity towards the Yankees after revealing the offer and that it had not come up in conversation. However, Judge revealed to TIME that he was indeed upset about the situation, adding to some concern of him bolting to San Francisco.

The article also revealed that his wife reminded him recently of a prediction he made when he was still in high school.

“I said, in 10 years, I’ll be married to Sam [his wife] and playing for the San Francisco Giants,” Judge said. “I was like, that’d better not get out.”

Judge’s interview with TIME took place a week after his record-setting 2022 season came to an end.

The Giants are the other known suitor as all indications point to this being a very tight race to win the services of No. 99. There were conflicting reports that surfaced Monday pertaining to Judge’s plans for the Winter Meetings. Bryan Hoch of reported that Judge is expected to arrive in San Diego on Tuesday, however, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale then reported that there is no such plans for the AL MVP.

Cashman said he did not hear of any plans for Judge to come to the Winter Meetings.

Cashman revealed the Yankees have made multiple offers to Judge this offseason. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the Bombers’ offer is around eight years and $300 million. This would make him the highest-paid position player in the history of baseball in terms of average annual value.

The Yankees are willing to increase the offer depending on how the market shapes up for Judge, per Passan. Reports have also indicated that No. 99 seems likely to sign by the end of the four-day gathering in San Diego.

Judge was named AL MVP last month after he slashed .311/.425/.686 with an AL single-season record 62 homers and 131 RBI, adding to his stellar resume as he was about to hit the open market.

“In a year full of memorable athletic achievements — Stephen Curry shooting the Golden State Warriors to another NBA title, Serena Williams and Roger Federer taking their final tennis bows, the World Cup wizards scoring goals in Qatar — none was more transcendent than Judge’s,” TIME wrote in honoring Judge.

Judge kept baseball fans on the edge of their seats down the stretch of the ‘22 campaign as he chased down Roger Maris’ single-season American League home run record of 61 set in 1961. The mighty slugger finally blasted the record-setting homer on Oct. 4 off Rangers righty Jesus Tinoco in Arlington, Texas.



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