SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman and the Yankees are like the rest of baseball: They’re still waiting for Aaron Judge.
Cashman arrived at winter training on Monday and said he spoke with the umpire’s agent, Paige Odle, earlier in the day, but there’s no word yet on whether the offseason’s biggest free agent will stay in the Bronx.
“It only takes one [team] to take it from us,” Cashman said. “This is a risk. We have done it many times and it has been done to us. We’ll see.”
The Yankees are believed to have offered about eight years and 300 mln and while Cashman would not confirm those numbers, the general manager said he had made “a number of offers” since the season ended and that the “offers” were “very different” than the seven-year, $213.5 million extension Arbiter rejected on Opening Day.
Now, Judge is seen as the most obvious threat to steal the Giants slugger, who met in San Francisco last month.
“We’re negotiating hard,” Cashman said, adding that managing partner Hal Steinbrenner is “putting his money where his mouth is.”
But that, Cashman said, “doesn’t guarantee anything.”
He also said the umpire’s camp had given the Yankees no instructions to return to them until the umpire made a final decision.
As negotiations continue, at least part of the Yankees’ offseason plans are on hold, as they need to figure out how much money they need for Judge or whether he will go elsewhere. For now, Cashman said he wouldn’t put a time frame on when he needs a decision from the outfielder before looking elsewhere.
“You saw people start making decisions in the last 48 hours,” Cashman said of top free agents such as Jacob deGrom to Texas, Justin Verlander to the Mets and Trea Turner.
“I don’t think it’s like we’re running out of time, but I understand that the longer things go on, the more you’re at risk,” Cashman said. “It’s easier if we manage it. We don’t control it. … He has a lot of leverage, and he’s earned that right.
San Francisco president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi told Giants beat reporters Monday night that negotiations between the Giants and Judge are “ongoing.”
According to Zaidi, the team has “a lot of interest” in the referee and the outfielder’s visit to the team has been “really productive”.
It is not known whether the referee met with other teams.
MLB.com reported Monday that Judge was expected to attend those meetings at the Grand Hyatt on Tuesday, but a person close to Judge said Monday night that Judge “is not coming at this time.”
Aaron Boone said he spoke with Judge recently, but not about free agency — and he wasn’t sure of Judge’s plans.
Judge was at the Buccaneers-Saints game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Monday night and spoke with star quarterback Tom Brady in the tunnel before the game.
Cashman said the Yankees could still turn to the free agent market, which includes Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson, if Judge were to leave.
“If the judge signs off somewhere else, are we going to turn around and do something else?” Cashman said. “Are we going to change ourselves completely? I don’t know at all. That’s not what we want to do.”
They want to keep Judge, who set an American League record with 62 homers last season.
Turner, a little over a year younger than Umpire, signed an 11-year, $300 million deal with the Phillies on Monday.
How that will affect the length of Judge’s deal — if at all — remains to be seen, and the Yankees will go into the ninth year to keep Judge — just as they did when they signed Gerrit Cole three years ago.
“We’ll see how it all plays out,” Cashman said. “How this winter plays out could take us down different paths that we don’t expect. My phone is much more active than it has been in the last five days [before]. The situation was gradually developing, and now they are opening up a little.”
– Additional reporting by John Heyman