Aaron Judge says he is looking forward to arbitration with the New York Yankees

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – Aaron Judge intends to just “wear a nice suit” and “introduce myself and sit back” while a three-man arbitration panel discusses whether the New York Yankees should pay their All-Star outfielder the salary of 21 million dollars he thinks he’s worth this season.

The hearing will be held on Friday, sources told ESPN’s Buster Olney.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Judge said Tuesday afternoon ahead of the Yankees’ game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field, although he did not confirm the day. “I’ve had people in my agency, former players, who went through the process, said they hated it. And then others who went through it said it was actually pretty good to hear about [yourself]. “

The last Yankees player to go to arbitration was reliever Dellin Betances in 2017, Judge’s record-breaking Rookie of the Year season. An arbitration panel ruled in the club’s favor, and Betances was open with teammates about the hostility that took place in the hearing room.

“[Betances] just did not like how the process went. “He gave a lot to this organization, the numbers he put up for quite a few years, even though he was not close, he did a lot of special things and thought maybe he should get paid for it, but it did It does not happen,” said Judge. “It’s probably tough, but for me it’s simple and straightforward. I love this team, I love this organization and everything, but there is a business side to it that I do not like at times, I do not think many like, I do not think the team likes it [either] which you have to go through and then you move on. “

Manager Aaron Boone praised how Judge has handled himself through the process, which has not affected his popularity or performance. Earlier Tuesday, MLB announced the first results of the All-Star poll, and Judge led all players with 1,512,368 votes. The referee could be the first Yankee to lead the majors in voting for the All-Star Game since Alex Rodriguez in 2008.

The referee’s 25 home runs this season are the most in the majors, and he became the third player in franchise history to hit at least 25 home runs in the Yankees’ first 62 games in a season, joining Babe Ruth (28 in 1928 and 26 in the season). 1930) and Mickey Mantle (27 in 1956).

“No matter what happens there, I know what Aaron’s focus is and what he wants to achieve, and I do not expect anything to get in the way of that,” Boone said. “This is obviously a great player, but a guy who is very good from the neck up as well, when it comes to dealing with what comes his way through star status, through being one of the game’s faces, to being a New York Yankee. “Things that happen or inevitably arise, in this case contract situations and arbitration and all that, he is fully equipped to deal with these things and not influence what he does between the lines.”

By the time the season opened, Judge had expressed frustration at not completing a long-term contract extension with the Yankees, the club he has repeatedly said he wants to spend the rest of his big league career with. The judge himself imposed a deadline for the opening day to agree on an extension that would have prevented him from meeting a free agency. But he and the Yankees did not reach an agreement, and general manager Brian Cashman said the team had offered a seven-year extension of $ 213.5 million, which together with the $ 17 million they offered in arbitration this season, would have made the whole package worth a bit. over $ 230 million.

Judge declined to comment on Cashman’s rare move to publicly disclose the terms of the Yankees’ offer, describing it as the business side of baseball, something he repeated on Tuesday. Cashman to release the specific numbers was something that did not sit well inside the Yankees clubhouse, sources told ESPN.

The parties will hold the hearing via video conference unless an agreement is reached, which can not be completely ruled out despite the fact that Judge said he would not negotiate a contract extension during the season. The Yankees set a precedent in 2019, when pitcher Luis Severino agreed to a four-year extension of $ 40 million shortly before his arbitration hearing.

As for whether the impending hearing has been on his mind or acted as a distraction, Judge said his focus has been on winning matches.

“We are the best team in the league. That’s what I’ve been thinking,” he said. “Being here with these guys and what we’ve been doing for the last few months has made it pretty easy to focus on playing baseball. I can get caught up in contract or arbitration, but it’s not necessary. That’s what I have agents for. for.”

AROLDIS CHAPMAN UPDATE

Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, who has been on the injury list with left Achilles tendonitis since May 24, threw a live batting training session at the team’s minor league complex in Tampa earlier Tuesday. The injury seems to have hampered him this season, especially in his last five appearances, where he posted an ERA of 14.73 after giving up six earned races over 3 rounds.

Clay Holmes has astonished to take over the closer role, and has not allowed a run in 29 consecutive relief appearances from April 9 to June 18 (31⅓ innings), surpassing Mariano Rivera’s 28 games for the longest pointless series of a Yankees- pitcher in franchise history.

Asked if he thought he had lost his role to Holmes, Chapman said that was not his focus.

“I do not see it that way. I am past the point in my career where I would fight for a role, for the closer role, I have already gone through it,” Chapman said. “When I came to the big leagues, they gave me the opportunity to close, and I took advantage of it. The same thing happens with about [Holmes]. I’m trying to come back, well, [to] assist the team in any role. He’s doing an excellent job right now, and he deserves the role he has.