Aaron Judge named Yankees captain
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge was named captain, the 16th in franchise history, on the heels of his MVP season and landmark free-agent contract.
Judge, 30, signed a nine-year deal worth $360 million and was named the first captain in pinstripes since Derek Jeter. The moves were formally announced at a press conference by the Yankees on Wednesday.
Judge landed the megadeal after rolling the dice by turning down a massive offer last spring. Judge hit 62 home runs in 2022, establishing a new AL home run record.
He turned down what general manager Brian Cashman publicly revealed: a contract covering seven years at $213.5 million in March 2022.
Terms of an offer from the San Francisco Giants matching financial figures to the final deal with the Yankees began to leak earlier this month. Reporters herded at baseball’s winter meetings helped fan flames that Judge was San Francisco-bound after a premature report signaled Judge was a goner.
Judge also had an offer from the San Diego Padres, but after contemplating contract offers from those three teams, decided to return to New York.
A four-time All-Star, Judge, has 220 home runs and 497 RBIs in seven seasons. He led the American League with 131 RBIs in 2022.
After the season, Cashman and team executives said that bringing Judge back was the “only” priority and making him team captain was a consideration.
“We would love to continue to call him our player every step of the way as he follows what looks like — as long as nothing happens — a career path that will lead him to Cooperstown,” Cashman said. “I would like him to be in pinstripes every step of the way.”
–Field Level Media