Aaron Judge
Fans cheer New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge walks to the dugout after striking out in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Aaron Judge, the New York Yankees’ newly minted captain, joined the free agency earlier this off-season before signing a humongous extension contract.

The New York Yankees slugger, Aaron Judge, has been one of the most successful players in baseball since his debut in 2016. After winning the rookie award, the slugger has been unstoppable. Last season, he recorded his career’s finest figures, including record breaking 62 home runs. Despite the glory, Judge decided to enter free agency in the off-season ahead of the 2023 MLB campaign.


Aaron Judge moved to free agency and talked to multiple teams. He even reportedly reached a long-term agreement with the San Francisco Giants. However, the tables turned last minute as the slugger decided to stay back in New York and signed a nine-year extension contract for a whooping salary of $360 million. Meanwhile, in a recent game at spring training, the 30-year-old revealed his free agency journey and what prompted him to stay in New York.

Aaron Judge Says Staying With The New York Yankees Was A “No Brainer” Decision For Him

Aaron Judge
Judge was named the 16th Yankees captain on Wednesday during a press conference announcing his re-signing. Jessica Alcheh/USA TODAY Sports

This year’s free agency was one of the most stressful moments for every person associated with the New York Yankees. After a successful season, Aaron Judge moved past New York and entered free agency, only to return back a month later. Meanwhile, the slugger, mic’d up during the game against the Nationals, revealed his orderly. The 30-year-old said the free agency was a stressful yet exciting process to go through. He said he met with a lot of great people and iconic teams. However, Judge’s heart always stayed in New York.

Aaron Judge revealed he told the Yankees that he wants to stay as he considers New York his home and the people of the city his family. However, the slugger did admit, and after entering the free agency, some doubts did creep into his mind. But after a month of numerous visits, Judge said returning to New York Yankees was the right choice and a no-brainer decision for him. The decision proved to be correct, as the slugger received a handsome contract and the honor of becoming the captain of the second largest sports franchise in the world.

Did Judge Use The Negotiations With The Giants To Leverage Yankees?

Aaron Judge
New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge looks out at the crowd before a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in New York.Jessie Alcheh, Associated Press

In a recent interview with Bob Klapisch of NJ.com, Aaron Judge said he only talked to the San Francisco Giants as a courtesy, and his intentions were clear from the start that he wanted to return to New York. The slugger, however, clarified that money was never a concern for him as the Padres were offering him more money than the Yankees. Moreover, he intends to finish his career with the Yankees.

While Aaron Judge succeeded in his attempt to sugarcoat the whole situation, one must wonder if all the act with the Giants was put on just to leverage the Yankees to pour in more money. Of course, the slugger never wanted to leave New York considering his last season’s form. And if he loved New York so much, then why deny the extension contract offered at the start of 2022 in the first place? Overall, whatever plan Judge had in mind worked for the best for him.