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New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is ready to talk contract extension with slugging outfielder Aaron Judge. According to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, Steinbrenner on Wednesday said negotiations with Judge's representatives should "happen soon."

More from Steinbrenner: 

"Judge is a very special player right, and a great Yankee. We will be having conversations, I have no doubt, in the weeks to come."

Judge, who is set to be eligible for free agency following the conclusion of the 2022 season, has in the past expressed a desire to remain with the Yankees long-term, and likewise Steinbrenner and GM Brian Cashman have indicated that working out an extension with Judge is an organizational priority. Given that Judge, like so many players, will be reluctant to have negotiations stretch into the regular season, there's not much time left to work something out (Opening Day is scheduled for April 7). The will on both sides, however, appears to be there. 

This past season Judge put up a .287/.373/.533 batting line with 39 home runs in 148 games. For his career, the three-time All-Star owns an exceptional OPS+ of 150, and he also grades out as a defensive asset in right field. While Judge will probably always have injury concerns, there's no doubting his MVP upside when healthy. The Yankees originally drafted Judge out of Fresno State with the 32nd overall pick in 2013.

Judge turns 30 in late April, which means the first year of his next contract -- whether that be via an extension with the Yankees or a free-agent contract with some other team -- would be his age-31 campaign. The benchmark would probably be the six-year, $150 million deal that George Springer signed with the Blue Jays prior to the 2021 season. 

Speaking of the Yankees spending, Steinbrenner also addressed that matter, in particular with regard to the high payroll investments of the crosstown Mets under Steve Cohen. Via ESPN's Joon Lee

"The fact is I can't control what resources the other owners have and what they're going to do with those resources. I make the same commitment every year, my family does, which is to do everything we're able to do to field a championship-caliber team and win a World Series. I will continue to try and accomplish that."

As Lee notes, the Mets are the only team projected to exceed the Yankees' current $255 million luxury-tax payroll. Steinbrenner emphasized that the team's current payroll situation will not influence his willingness to sign Judge to an extension.