There is no guarantee Aaron Judge returns to the New York Yankees last season, but team president Randy Levine said the organization will do what it can to keep him.
"I think we'll be extraordinarily competitive," Levine said of the Yankees' approach with the free agent, via Dan Martin of the New York Post.
The Yankees failed to sign Judge to a long-term contract last offseason, offering a seven-year, $213.5 million extension that was rejected. As Levine explained on The Show podcast, the team still wants him back.
"We know his worth and what he means," Levine said. "I don't know what's in his mind. All we can do is show him how much we'd like him to remain a Yankee."
Judge's value continues to grow during his unbelievable 2022 season.
The 30-year-old entered Wednesday with 54 home runs, 117 RBI, 109 runs and a 1.085 OPS, leading the majors in each category. He has 18 more home runs than anyone else in baseball this season, and he remains on pace to pass Roger Maris for the Yankees' single-season record of 61.
ESPN's Jeff Passan recently explained on the Pat McAfee Show why it's so important for the Yankees to re-sign Judge:
Pat McAfee @PatMcAfeeShow
"I do think that when it's all said & done Aaron Judge will end up staying with the New York Yankees" ~<a href="https://twitter.com/JeffPassan?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JeffPassan</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PMSLive?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PMSLive</a> <a href="https://t.co/OipuSG9LYO">pic.twitter.com/OipuSG9LYO</a>
"He's the captain, he's the leader in the clubhouse, he's extremely well-regarded by his teammates, by the coaching staff, by management," Passan said. "Everybody loves Aaron Judge. So the idea that he's going to be wearing another uniform, it just seems hard to fathom. But look, money talks."
There will obviously be a heavy market for Judge if he hits free agency, which puts pressure on Levine and the Yankees to pay up in order to keep the four-time All-Star.
New York fans likely won't be satisfied with a "competitive" offer if Judge is in a different uniform next season.