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Yankees won’t push Aaron Judge without spending a dime agency decision

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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman and the Yankees are like the remaining of baseball: They’re still waiting on Aaron Judge.

Cashman arrived on the winter meetings on Monday and said he had a conversation with Judge’s agent, Page Odle, earlier within the day, but still had no indication whether the most important free agent of the offseason was going to stay in The Bronx.

“It only takes one [team] to take him from us,” Cashman said. “It’s a danger. We’ve done it persistently and it’s been done to us, too. We’ll see.”

The Yankees are believed to have made a suggestion of about eight years and $300 million and while Cashman wouldn’t confirm those numbers, the overall manager said he’s made “a variety of offers” because the season ended and the “offers are quite a bit different” than the seven-year, $213.5 million extension Judge rejected on Opening Day.

Now, the Giants, with whom Judge met in San Francisco last month, are seen as essentially the most obvious threat to steal the slugger.

“We’re negotiating hard,” said Cashman, who added that managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner is “putting his money where his mouth is.”

But that, Cashman conceded, “doesn’t guarantee anything.”

Aaron JudgeGetty Images

And he also said that Judge’s camp has given the Yankees no indication they’ll come back to them before Judge makes a final decision.

And while the negotiations proceed, no less than a few of the Yankees’ offseason plans are on hold, since they should know the way much money — if any — they need for Judge or if it would go elsewhere. For now, Cashman said he’s not putting a deadline on when he needs a choice from the outfielder before he must look elsewhere.

“You’ve seen within the last 48 hours, people begin to make decisions,” Cashman said of the highest free agents reminiscent of Jacob deGrom to Texas, Justin Verlander to the Mets and Trea Turner to the Phillies.

“It’s not like we missed time, in my view, but I understand the longer things go, the more in danger you might be,” Cashman said. “It’s easier if we’re driving it. We’re not driving it. … He’s got plenty of leverage and he’s earned that right.”

Follow the Latest York Post’s live coverage of the 2022 MLB Winter Meetings for the most recent news on trades, rumors, free agent signings and more.

Chatting with Giants beat reporters Monday night, Farhan Zaidi, San Francisco’s president of baseball operations, said talks between the Giants and Judge “are continuing.”

Zaidi said the team has “really strong interest” in Judge and the outfielder’s visit with the team was “really productive.”

It’s unknown whether Judge has met with some other teams.

MLB.com reported Monday that Judge was expected to attend these meetings on the Grand Hyatt on Tuesday, but someone near Judge said Monday night that Judge “was not coming presently.”

YankeesBrian CashmanCharles Wenzelberg / Latest York Post

Aaron Boone said he spoke to Judge recently, but not about free agency — and he was also in unsure of Judge’s plans.

Judge was in Tampa on Monday night, on the Buccaneers-Saints game at Raymond James Stadium, and spoke with star quarterback Tom Brady within the tunnel before the sport.

Cashman said if Judge departs, the Yankees could turn to the free-agent shortstop market, which still includes Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson.

“If Judge signs elsewhere, will we pivot and do something else?,’’ Cashman said. “Can we remake ourselves completely? I don’t know. It’s not what we wish to do.”

They need to keep Judge, who set the American League record with 62 homers last season.

Aaron JudgeAaron JudgeGetty Images

Turner, a little bit over a 12 months younger than Judge, signed an 11-year, $300 million cope with the Phillies on Monday.

How that impacts the length of Judge’s deal — if in any respect — stays to be seen and there may be a belief the Yankees would go to a ninth 12 months to retain Judge — very like they did three years ago after they signed Gerrit Cole.

“We’ll see the way it all plays out,” Cashman said. “The way in which this winter is gonna play out could take us down plenty of different roads we didn’t expect. My phone has been quite a bit more energetic the last five days than [before]. Things were developing slowly and now they’re opening up a little bit bit.”

— Additional reporting by Jon Heyman

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