Insider: Yankees won’t lose ‘cash cow’ Aaron Judge to free agency

Add The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner to the list of people who believe the New York Yankees won’t lose All-Star slugger Aaron Judge to free agency. 

“Money is not an issue for the Yankees,” Kirschner explained for a piece published Friday. “Judge made the franchise richer this season with his home run chase — YES Network ratings were higher than they’ve been in over a decade, and the team drew 1 million more fans this season than in 2021. Not to mention all the Judge gear fans purchased.

“Judge is a cash cow for the franchise. Will the Yankees let their most popular player since Derek Jeter walk without doing everything they can to keep him in the Bronx?”

Kirschner also referenced how Judge insisted after the American League Championship Series sweep at the hands of the Houston Astros he wants to remain in pinstripes moving forward. 

Judge is on track to hit free agency after he rejected a seven-year, $213.5 million contract extension offer from the Yankees before the start of the season. Just this week, it was reported that “there appears to be some real concern within the Yankees’ ranks about their chances to keep Judge” and said that he could at least explore the open market in part because he and others heard boos from home crowds throughout the club’s postseason run.

“Those kinds of stories aren’t going to stop until Judge signs his new contract,” Kirschner wrote. 

Kirschner did, however, admit that the Linden, California, native could ultimately sign with the San Francisco Giants because his family calls Northern California home. Perhaps San Francisco will win the signature of the four-time All-Star selection by offering him an absurd $500 million over 10 years.

“He’s too valuable for the brand, on and off the field, to lose,” Kirschner continued about the Judge-Bronx Bombers relationship. “The best bet is the Yankees meet his contract demands and continue trying to build around him to get that elusive championship on his resume.”

The Yankees haven’t played in a World Series since they won the 2009 Fall Classic. 

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