Brian Cashman should have paid the man.
Aaron Judge has been on fire all season, but his latest dominant stretch against a bevy of top MLBbros has been another sign that he will easily outplay the seven-year, $230 million contract Brian Cashman and the Yankees offered to begin the season.
Over the weekend, Aaron put on a show against potential first-round playoff matchup Tim Anderson and the Chicago White Sox. The Yankees took three of four from the Southsiders, scoring a combined 32 runs over the four-game set. Judge collected five hits, two home runs, six runs and five RBI in the series before setting his sights on division rival Baltimore.
Tuesday, Judge went 4-5 with two homers, three RBI and two runs in a Yankees 5-4 victory over Cedric Mullins and the Orioles in Camden Yards. Judge would have had three home runs, but Baltimore decided to make Camden Yards less hitter friendly by making the left-field wall six feet taller, while also pushing it back 26 1/2 feet during the offseason.
Now the decision to alter the dimensions has confused many ballplayers, and Judge voiced his displeasure after the game. “Its a travesty, man. I’m pretty upset,” said Judge when asked directly about the new wall. “It looks like a create-a-park now.”
Even with its new ridiculous dimensions, Camden Yards couldn’t contain the hottest hitter in baseball. Over his last seven games, Judge is hitting .429 with 12 hits, five home runs, 11 RBI and a MVP-level 1.485 OPS. Aaron’s strikeout percentage is currently at 26.5%, continuing the downward trend we’ve seen every season since his rookie year, while he’s managed to hit an impressive .346 on balls in play.
Judge being locked in like this is a gift and a curse for the Yankees, especially with his June 22nd arbitration case being the last to be heard. Although by rule nothing that takes place during the 2022 campaign can be used as part of the arbitration hearing, the Yankees $17 million counter offer to Aaron’s $21 million request will still look sillier.
There is nothing stopping either side from going back to the table and negotiating before the deadline on a one-year dear or even a multi-year agreement. However, for some strange reason, the Yankees front office has continued to haggle with Judge as opposed to simply locking down one of the best talents in baseball for the remainder of his career.
It’s still early, but Judge leading the Yankees toward the playoffs while also trending toward another top-three finish in MVP voting only strengthens his case for the Yankees to hand over a blank check.