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Yankees' Hal Steinbrenner: Aaron Judge Contract Talks Can't Impact World Series Bid

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 6, 2022

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The New York Yankees don't plan to discuss contract negotiations with Aaron Judge publicly, managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said Wednesday, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

The sides agreed that "in no way" can they let contract talks affect their World Series bid.

"No matter what happens during this season, we are not going to give any updates. The sole focus [is] winning a championship," Steinbrenner added.

Judge turned down an offer from the Yankees before the season, but Steinbrenner said he has "no regrets" about that.

New York offered a seven-year, $213.5 million extension, but Judge didn't agree before his self-imposed deadline of Opening Day.

The price tag surely has gone up with the center fielder's outstanding season.

Judge is the favorite to win the American League MVP Award, leading the majors with 29 home runs and 64 runs. He also has a .281 average, a .360 on-base percentage and 60 RBI.

The 30-year-old is a major reason the Yankees entered Wednesday with a 58-23 record, best in baseball.

Judge was impressive in 2021, finishing fourth in AL MVP voting while hitting 39 home runs with 98 RBI. However, there were questions about his consistency and durability after he missed significant time with injuries from 2018 to 2020.

So far, though, Judge has quieted concerns and is due for a massive contract.

The Yankees still believe they will be able to re-sign the homegrown talent, with Steinbrenner trusting general manager Brian Cashman to get the job done.

"I have tremendous confidence in Cash," he said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Cashman is sticking to his plan to keep all discussions in-house.

"We're not going to talk about it now going forward," he said in May. "Whether that means we're not going to talk, I'm not saying that, but we're not going to talk about it [publicly]."

Judge will instead continue to focus on helping the Yankees win their first title since 2009.

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