Heading into the bulky part of the offseason, the New York Yankees still have plenty of questions to answer before the 2022 season. Might a monster extension for right fielder Aaron Judge be one of the answers?
Judge on Thursday said he'd like for that to be the case.
"To be honest, there's no better place to play," Judge said of the Bronx in an interview with Fanatics. "No other place I'd really ever want to play, just based on how the fans have embraced me, how they brought me in and treated me as one of their own. It's incredible.
"That would be a wish of mine, a goal of mine to finish my career as a Yankee, but you never know what the cards hold. If it was up to me, I'd be a Yankee for the next 10 years."
Music to the ears of Yankees fans, no doubt.
Believe it or not, Judge is only one year away from free agency. He's coming off a season in which he hit .287/.373/.544 (149 OPS+) with 24 doubles, 39 homers, 98 RBI, 89 runs and 6.0 WAR in 148 games. Staying on the field had been an issue since his MVP runner-up campaign in 2017, so perhaps the most important part of that stat line was the games played.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was asked about a possible Judge extension earlier this week and he said the club is open to it.
"Well, he's a special player," Cashman said (via nj.com). "It's definitely a special case. I can't predict or tell you how it plays out or what happens next. I just know we're happy we have him right now. No doubt about it."
The Yankees have a lot of money committed to Giancarlo Stanton, Gerrit Cole and, to a lesser extent, D.J. LeMahieu moving forward and they have several holes to plug this offseason. CBS Sports' Mike Axisa covered as much last month when the Yankees were eliminated.
Money, however, shouldn't be an issue here with Judge. He's Aaron Judge and these are the New York Yankees. If there's mutual interest, an extension should get done at some point this offseason.