The Yankees beat the Red Sox after failing to extend Aaron Judge

The opening day arrived in the Bronx on Friday, and the sun bathed the gleaming green lawn at Yankee Stadium. The Boston Red Sox could also sail out of their hotel.

“It’s a special place,” their manager Alex Cora said before the punch training. “If you need an alarm clock this morning, I’m sorry.”

For the Yankees and Aaron Judge, the alarm played the sound of a sad trombone. They ended the day happily, with a 6-5 win in the singles of their new third base player, Josh Donaldson, in the 11th inning. The judge was on deck to hit Isiah Kiner-Falef, a ghost runner who rushed home from another base.

Today, the judge had a deadline to sign an extension of his contract before the off-season, when he will be entitled to a free agency. There were no last-minute negotiations; two hours before the first appointment, CEO Brian Cashman said the talks were over, at least for now.

The Yankees, Cashman said, have offered Judge, their ultimate player, a seven-year, $ 213.5 million contract that will begin in 2023. Judge, who turns 30 this month, said no.

“Our intent is for Aaron Judge to stay like the New York Yankee as we move forward, and I know that’s his intent, too, which is a good thing,” Cashman said. “Obviously, we will enter into those efforts in the new arena, which would be at the end of the season, when the free agency starts. Maybe that will determine what its real market value would be, because we certainly couldn’t agree at this stage. “

The Yankees were relatively quiet out of season, largely ignoring the robust free agent market. The idea was that Judge would be their extravagance, and if he signed a contract, it would be the second biggest deal since the World Series, after Corey Seager’s ten-year contract with Texas for $ 325 million.

The Yankees have added two ordinary players, Donaldson and Kiner-Falef, in exchange for Minnesota for two more, Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshel. They kept first baseman Anthony Rizzo and replaced player to free Miguel Castro, but were otherwise left without a connection.

“As for turning back the clock, I have nothing to turn to there,” Cashman said. “I feel that we have improved in many areas that we needed to address, and that we still have the opportunity, if someone changes their mind, to keep the player we would like to keep.”

There is no rule forbidding the Yankees from continuing negotiations with Judge. The deadline was his strategy, and Judge defended himself about it late in spring training. The Yankees, Cashman said, would be willing to continue the conversation.

“I respect his position,” Cashman said. “But I will never rule out, if there is an opportunity, that things will be re-examined over time. I mean, he’s too good a player, on my part, to be stubborn and say, ‘No, no, we’re not going to talk anymore.’ If either side has something to adjust to or listen to, I’m open-minded about it at all times. “

Cashman said he can’t know if the Yankees will make the same offer after the season; it can be higher or lower, depending on what happens by then. The risk now shifts to the Judge.

Some players bet on themselves and come forward; Max Scherzer once refused to extend his $ 144 million contract with Detroit and then received $ 210 million from Washington in a free agency. Again, others lose the bet, such as Juan Gonzalez, who also turned down the Tigers’ offer, for $ 140 million, and eventually earned about $ 46 million by the end of his career.

Yankees and Judge have yet to agree on a salary for 2022; an arbitration hearing has been scheduled to determine whether Judge will receive the $ 21 million he requested or the Yankees offer of $ 17 million.

“Just entering the extension talks was a blessing,” the judge said. “I never thought I would have that opportunity. This is not something that is guaranteed. The very thought of going this route with the Yankees is something special. I know this was guaranteed to me last year; it was a year of arbitration, and that’s what I’m going to focus on. I have another year to play and things about extending my contract are good, but I have to focus on bigger things. “

It is difficult to predict how old Judge will be, because there has never been a player his size to use as a basis for comparison. The referee is the only player in the position in the history of the sport, according to the Baseball Reference, who weighs at least 6 feet 7 inches and 275 pounds.

Adam Dunn was close, an inch shorter than Judge and a little heavier. A reliable striker from 40 Homer to 30, Dunn didn’t age well and ended up before his 35th birthday. A better comparison is Judge’s teammate, Giancarlo Stanton, who weighs 6 feet-6 and 245 pounds and is signed under 37.

The Yankees accepted that contract (with some salary concessions) in trade with Miami after the 2017 season. It was natural for them to commit to a judge for the same term as Stanton, who is about two and a half years older. But was it smart?

Stanton, who put Homer in the front row of the right field on Friday, had two healthy seasons in New York and two were suspended due to injuries. Judge followed a similar pattern: he was resilient as a rookie again last season, but missed 37 percent of Yankees games in the three years in between.

This season, Judge could be forced to miss Yankees games in Toronto. Only players who have been vaccinated against coronavirus will be able to enter Canada, and the Referee was shy about his vaccination status. Cashman did not want to say what role, if any, it played in the negotiations.

When the Red Sox signed with infielder Trevor Story last month (six years, $ 140 million), they set a precondition for Story to get the vaccine. It’s a reasonable request for a team player – especially for a star with influence at the clubhouse, such as Judge with the Yankees.

“He’s a top teammate,” manager Aaron Boone said. “He is probably the biggest leader in that room and he is an amazing player who wants to come out and be great and he wants nothing more than to be part of the champion club. There is no doubt that, whatever the outcome, nothing will change the way Aaron goes about things. ”

Boone spoke before the game, shortly after Judge greeted reporters by his locker. There is now a space at the far end of the clubhouse, between the empty counter and the entrance to the restricted areas. It is a symbol of referee status, given by the manager of the club house, Rob Cucuzza. Previous tenants were Jorge Posada, Carlos Beltran and Brett Gardner.

“I talked to Gardy a little bit about it – he said, ‘Take care of it,'” Judge said. “It’s an incredible honor. I actually talked to Robbie about it, he asked me if I wanted to be here. I said, ‘I just appreciate what you think I deserve to be down here, it means a lot.’ I hope I keep this locker well. ”

Maybe it’s a short-term lease.

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