New York Yankees made a major announcement during this off-season while re-signing outfielder Aaron Judge in a nine-year deal. They announced Judge as the captain of the franchise, which took the baseball fraternity by surprise. However, many might have seen it coming considering the series of events that unfolded prior to the deal.
Well, for those who don’t know, Aaron Judge entered free agency after the 2022 season despite being the league’s best hitter of the year. He gave the Yankees a hard time and literally had them chasing him throughout the off-season. At last, timely intervention from the Yankees owner himself saved the day. Meanwhile, Judge appeared on a podcast recently wherein he disclosed details of his overnight phone conversation with Hal Steinbrenner, which led to a change of heart.
Aaron Judge Did Not Expect Captaincy Offer From Hal Steinbrenner
Outfielder, Aaron Judge, had an eventful off-season. After parting ways with the New York Yankees, he practically went on a USA tour, with rival teams flying him in private jets. Judge first made a quick stop in San Francisco to meet with the Giants. Later, he moved to San Diego, wherein the Padres allegedly offered him a $400 million gigantic deal. But, the money apparently did not excite the outfielder as his love for the city of New York took over. In a recent podcast, Aaron opened up on the events of the decisive night. Aaron Judge said he had come over to his parent’s house in California with his wife when past midnight, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner dialed him up. Judge told him the teams were lining up with offers and shared details of all the offers in length.
Hal later asked him what does he want. The outfielder responded in a heartbeat that he wanted to stay in New York. Steinbrenner understood his sentiments and asked him to name his price. After a prolonged chat, both parties arrived at a consensus and gave verbal commitment. Aaron further revealed that towards the end of the phone call, Hal just casually mentioned that they were going to name him the captain of the franchise. The statement stunned the outfielder, who claimed he went numb for 30-odd minutes before his wife nudged him to say something. Judge said he did not expect such an offer in his wildest imagination, and hence, Hal’s offer caught him off-guard completely. Of course, leading a franchise like the Yankees is an honor in itself, and Aaron Judge understood the seriousness of it at that very moment.
Judge Says His Off-Season Rendezvous Were Blown Out Of Proportion
Aaron Judge remained the talk of the town during this year’s off-season. His trip to San Francisco created a massive uproar as fans and analysts speculated about his joining the Giants. A renowned MLB insider named Jon Heyman even put up a tweet that a deal is nearly confirmed. However, he misspelled the outfielder’s name, which invited a laughter fest. Jon mentioned him as “Arson Judge,” which the fans picked up to poke fun at the outfielder.
Speaking on the incident, Aaron Judge said his trip to San Francisco was taken out of proportion. As soon as the “Arson Judge” tweet flared up, Judge’s phone started buzzing with friends, family, and even some members of the Yankees calling him up to know the exact situation. This happened at a time when the outfielder had zero clue about what was going on as he was on a flight. He later checked with his manager, who briefed him about the entire orderly. At last, it proved to be just a conjecture as Judge ended up re-signing with the Yankees.