New York Yankees star slugger Aaron Judge reportedly turned down an expensive contract this off-season to rejoin the Bombers.
Aaron Judge, the AL-MVP award recipient, made headlines when he entered free agency this season. Despite a record-breaking season, the slugger refused to sign an extension contract with the New York Yankees. Subsequently, the rival teams lined up on Judge’s door with lucrative offers in hand. However, the slugger had a change of heart just in time.
After a long-fought battle, the Yankees managed to re-sign Aaron Judge and lock him in a nine-year contract worth $360 million. Moreover, the Bombers honored Judge’s services to the team by handing him the captaincy badge just a day after his contract announcement. However, as per the latest rumors, the star slugger took a pay cut to establish his loyalty with New York.
Aaron Judge Turned Down Over $400 Million Contract, Claims His Manager
The off-season battle for Aaron Judge was mainly dominant between New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants. However, Judge’s manager had a different tale to tell. Page Odle of PSI Sports Management spoke to The Athletic and said the San Diego Padres offered Judge a 12-year contract for a massive payroll of over $400 million. But, the slugger turned the offer, which would have been one of the largest in baseball history, and was an attempt by the Padres to lure Judge away from the Yankees, where he has spent his entire career thus far.
According to Page, Aaron Judge, with his entire family and crew, flew to San Diego in a private jet provided by the franchise to have contract negotiations. Further, despite the massive offer, Judge ultimately decided to stay with the Yankees. He had a clear stance about his loyalty to the city of New York and its fans right from the start. Hence, deciding to continue with the team was not much of a difficult decision for the slugger. Apparently, he always wanted to return to the Yankees and was just looking for the right offer in free agency.
Judge Reveals Having A Special Bond With The Yankees Owner
Star slugger Aaron Judge returned to the New York Yankees just a day after turning down a $400 million contract from the Padres. The slugger gave massive credit to Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner for keeping an open mind and convincing him to return back home. Aaron said he shares a brotherly bond with Hal where he could call him at any time of the day and be open to him about his present contract talks.
Aaron Judge further added that he called up Hal and laid all his cards on the table. Later, Judge asked Hal to get an extension contract done because he wanted to stay in New York by any means. And the rest is history. As for the Yankees, the team will no doubt be thrilled to have Judge back in the fold for years to come. On the other hand, while the $400 million offer from the Padres was undoubtedly eye-popping, it’s clear that Judge’s heart was always with the Yankees.