If the New York Yankees and star outfielder Aaron Judge do not agree to a contract extension before Opening Day, Judge will become a free agent after this season and negotiations will have to resume in the offseason.
“If we’re able to talk and get something done in spring training before the season starts, that would be ideal, especially since this is an important year,’’ Judge told reporters Tuesday.
“We’ve got a lot of things to focus on during the course of the year, winning a division and winning a championship here in New York. I don’t want contract talks or extensions and all that talk to be a distraction throughout the year. So, if we’re able to agree to something here in the spring before we head up to New York, that’s wonderful and it would be an honor. If not, we’ll talk after the season.”
Judge reiterated that he wants to be a Yankee for life.
“As long as I’m playing baseball, I want to be wearing pinstripes,” Judge said. “It’s been an honor and a blessing to be here, getting a chance to play for this franchise, to be surrounded by so many great players and walk in the footsteps of so many other former great players that have played this game.
“There’s no better place to play on this planet. I strongly believe that and I’ve been vocal about that. I want to stay here in pinstripes. If that happens, that happens. But if it comes to it that it doesn’t, I’ll enjoy my memories here.”
The Yankees will open the season on Thursday, April 7 at home against the Boston Red Sox.