Aaron Judge maintained Monday he wanted to be with the New York Yankees for the remainder of his career as the possibility of him hitting free agency at the end of the season loomed.
Judge attended MLB All-Star Game media day in Los Angeles and was asked about his status with the Yankees as he finished the first half of the season on a torrid pace.
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“I want to play for the Yankees. I want to be here for a long time,” Judge said, via SNY. “If it works out, it works out. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. It’s out of my hands. I can’t really control that kind of stuff. For me, it’s just been about focusing on the game and playing the game, and when I’m a free agent and we decide where we go, we’ll figure all that out later.”
Judge turned down an eight-year contract worth $230.5 million to $234.5 million and was reportedly looking for a nine-year deal worth around $319.6 million. Judge set an arbitrary deadline of opening day — April 8 — and said he wouldn’t talk about the contract until after the season.
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On Monday, the outfielder said he’s never played baseball for money.
“I don’t live in fear. Money’s never been the reason why I play this game. This is a gift that I have, I try to go out there and have fun and use this gift to the best of my ability,” he said.
“Everything else will take care of itself. That’s why I got agents. That’s why I got family supporting me, helping me make the right decisions. Ultimately, all that stuff will get taken care of if it’s in New York or if it’s not in New York. It’s nothing for me to worry about or front about. It’s gonna handle itself.”
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Judge tied Roger Maris’ record for most home runs by a Yankees player at the All-Star break with 33 home runs. Maris set the record in 1961, the same year he hit 61 home runs.