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Aaron Judge 'Upset' Yankees Discussed Contract Offer Details: 'Put Pressure on Me'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 6, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 30:  Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees reacts as he comes in from the outfield in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on September 30, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Aaron Judge would've preferred to keep his contract negotiations with the New York Yankees behind closed doors ahead of the 2022 MLB season.

"We kind of said, 'Hey, let's keep this between us,'" he said to Time's Sean Gregory regarding his conversations with the team. "I was a little upset that the numbers came out. I understand it's a negotiation tactic. Put pressure on me. Turn the fans against me, turn the media on me. That part of it I didn't like."

In April, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman confirmed the team offered the star slugger a deal that would've paid him $213.5 million in new money over seven years.

Judge's comments now echo his reaction shortly after the negotiations became public. He told reporters the situation was "something I felt like was private between my team and the Yankees."

"I'm just disappointed because I think I’ve been vocal about wanting to be a Yankee for life," he said. "I want to bring a championship back to New York. I want to do it for the fans here. … Not getting that done right now, it stings. But I got a job to do on the field and I gotta shift my focus to that now and go play some ball."

Any frustration he felt toward the Yankees front office didn't bleed into his performance. The four-time All-Star had a contract year for the ages, hitting an American League-record 62 home runs and winning the AL's Most Valuable Player award.

Judge's feelings in the spring haven't precluded him from working with Cashman again toward a new contract that would bring him back to the Big Apple. ESPN's Jeff Passan reported the Yankees "have an offer on the table in the neighborhood of eight years and $300 million and could increase it."

For now, the San Francisco Giants are the Bronx Bombers' only competition. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported Monday that "no prominent mystery team has emerged."