New York Yankees fans worried after general manager Brian Cashman told reporters Tuesday he had no comment when asked if the team had spoken to free agent Aaron Judge since the end of the season can breathe a sigh of relief.
"Have we engaged them since the end of the season? The answer is yes," Cashman said of Judge and his agent, Page Odle, on Wednesday, per Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
Cashman's comments come after Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported on Monday a club executive said he is more "confident" the Bronx Bombers can sign the slugger than he was in the past.
"The belief is that the Yankees will be willing to top Judge's $36 million a year asking price from back in spring," Heyman added.
It isn't much of a surprise that the 30-year-old will be looking for more money than he was before the 2022 campaign started. After all, all he did was set the American League record with 62 home runs while slashing .311/.425/.686 with a league-best 131 RBI and 111 walks.
It was one of the best offensive performances in Major League Baseball history and will surely land him the AL MVP.
On Tuesday, Cashman said the team would also consider bringing back Anthony Rizzo and Andrew Benintendi, even if Judge is the primary focus.
"If you could wave a magic wand, we would secure Aaron Judge and retain him and have him signed and happy in the fold as soon as possible," Cashman said. "He's a free agent. He's earned the right to be a free agent, so he'll dictate the dance steps."
That means other teams, such as the San Francisco Giants, will also have the opportunity to pursue the biggest prize on the free agency market, but New York has at least talked to Judge in the early stages of the offseason.
Now it will be up to the front office to offer a deal that is enough to convince him to stay.