Yankees GM weighs in on Judge Aaron’s impending free agency

It must be a somewhat uncomfortable position for New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

As star slugger Aaron Judge, who just hit a season-high 62 home runs in the American League, enters free agency, it’s the slugger outfielder who has nearly all the leverage, not the Yankees.

“(The Judge) is going to dictate the dance moves to his free agency and he’s worked extremely hard to earn that job, so we’ll see how that plays out,” Cashman told reporters Friday, according to ESPN’s Joon Lee. “It might tie you up a bit along the way, but he’s not the only guy we have to deal with. He’s the most important, but if he came here today and said, ‘Oh, man, I’m signing up, let’s go”, there’s still a lot of work to do.

Lee added that Cashman declined to say during his press conference whether he was currently in talks with the judge’s camp on a new contract.

But Cashman certainly made known the importance of the judge to the organization. The Yankees will even consider the fact that Judge is a huge fan favorite and his ability to draw people to the ballpark when deciding how much in dollars to offer the superstar.

“As George Steinbrenner said, he puts fannies in the seats,” Cashman said, according to Lee. “People want to go watch this guy play, and you want to put great teams on the field that they want to come here to watch compete and win. Some individual players transcend the team and everything stops when they are at bat or have the ball in their hands. He is one of those types of talents.

Cashman acknowledged that while Judge is a high priority, the Yankees have other areas they need to focus on this offseason as well.

Christy J. Olson