SAN DIEGO — The Yankees announced a contract signing on Monday, though it wasn’t the one which their fan base has been eagerly awaiting.
While Aaron Judge’s 2023 employer stays undetermined as he engages in free-agent discussions with multiple clubs, the Yankees announced a four-year deal for his or her longtime baseball operations executive, General Manager Brian Cashman.
Already the longest-tenured G.M. in Yankees history, Cashman, who had been working with out a deal this off-season, signed an agreement that takes him through the 2026 season because the team’s senior vp and G.M. Terms weren’t disclosed.
Cashman replaced Bob Watson before the 1998 campaign and has steered the Yankees into the postseason in 21 of his 25 seasons.
He noted that Hal Steinbrenner, the team’s managing general partner, indicated that he wanted the overall manager to return and “so we finally had a fast conversation recently. It wasn’t dragging out, there wasn’t loads of backwards and forwards. It was something we got done relatively quickly. We were focused on things apart from that.”
Certainly one of those things is the competitive pursuit of Judge, who rebuffed the Yankees’ offer of seven years and $213.5 million on the eve of the 2022 season after which went out and hit 62 home runs, an American League single-season record. Of all of the items on the club’s to-do list, bringing back Judge is at the highest.
Cashman said on Monday in the course of the first full day of this week’s winter meetings in San Diego that he had a conversation with Page Odle, Judge’s agent, earlier within the day and that talks proceed. But he declined to present a standing report on the talks apart from to say “we’re negotiating hard.”
He added that the club “has made plenty of offers” to Judge this off-season and that, “definitely, we’d like to land the plane favorably here in Latest York, within the Bronx, but we’re not flying the plane. So we’ll wait for this process to play out.”
Many within the industry imagine San Francisco is the chief threat to steal Judge away from the Yankees. The Giants have money to spend, a necessity for an outfield slugger and geographically are the closest to Judge’s hometown, Linden, Calif.
However the Yankees are hoping that their history with him and their financial wherewithal will sway him to remain on target to change into a profession Yankee.
“We’d like to have our player back,” Cashman said. “We’d like to proceed to call him our player every step of the way in which as he follows what looks like, so long as nothing happens, a profession path to Cooperstown. We’d love him to be in pinstripes every step of the way in which.”
One rumor swept through the hotel lobby Monday afternoon that Judge could be on the meetings on Tuesday. That seemed far-fetched when Judge was photographed attending Latest Orleans’ football game with Tampa Bay while wearing a Buccaneers jersey Monday night in Florida.
Asked if he had given Judge’s camp a final offer, or a deadline to sign in order that he could get on with constructing the remaining of next 12 months’s roster, Cashman said he hadn’t and, as of now, he wouldn’t.
“I just don’t need to play a game of ‘take this, I would like to know now,’ and risk what comes from that,” Cashman said. “I’m not doing that to this player. He’s too necessary to us. He’s got loads of leverage he’s put himself in, he’s earned that right, we should always respect that.”
Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said Monday that he spoke with Judge “just a few days ago” but that it was more of a check-in from a manager-player perspective “sprinkled in with somewhat, let’s go.”
Boone also expressed relief that Cashman could be tied to the Yankees for the following 4 years.
This summer, Cashman, 55, surpassed Ed Barrow (1920-45) because the longest-serving G.M. in club history. He is also the sport’s longest-tenured current head of baseball operations, rating ahead of the Chicago White Sox’s Kenny Williams and the St. Louis Cardinals’ John Mozeliak.
In an increasingly young man’s game, Cashman said it’s easy to discover what keeps him interested and coming back.
“I’m competitive,” he said Monday in San Diego. “I’m wired that way. You make up challenges. I need to win. Initially, I really like being a component of this organization. They’re committed to attempt to win, not in the long run but obviously in the current. We have now an incredible crew of individuals I work with within the front office, scouts, coaching staff, our manager, and it runs all way through, not only in baseball operations.”
Cashman continued, saying, “It’s an ideal company to be a component of. Our fan base is clearly intense and demanding, and it drives you. You’ll be able to’t be sleeping on the wheel. They could perceive you to be sleeping on the wheel and accuse you of that, but that doesn’t occur. I really like attempting to be a component of a team that is determining ways to be higher than your previous version of yourself.”