Mike Francesa
Kyle Ross | USA TODAY Sports

Mike Francesa remains a hard marker when it comes to Aaron Judge.

The Yankees slugger’s MVP-caliber start to the season has not won the big guy over. Francesa said he hopes the team does give into Judge’s massive contract extension demands amid his surge in the final year of his current deal.

“The Yankees made him a very realistic offer,” the WFAN legend said on his BetRivers podcast. “Let him win what he wins, let him put up a huge season, let him do everything. And then worry about it. The Yankees should not back off. He is going to be 30-years-old this year.”

The Yankees offered Judge what was effectively an eight-year deal worth roughly $30 million annually before extension talks broke off before Opening Day. He was reportedly seeking a deal that paid him Mike Trout-level money over a longer term (nine or 10 years) at around $36 million a year. Judge said he would not continue talks during the season and he would test free agency this winter.

Judge is batting .296 so far with an MLB-leading 12 home runs. And the Yankees have the best record in baseball at 26-9 and lead the American League East by six games in the loss column. At the moment, he is winning the contract battle. But Francesa — who has previously said he believes Judge is expendable for the Yankees — is not changing his tune.


“I personally, as a club, would not give him more than six years,” Francesa said. “I’d pay him a high rate for the six years. But I don’t want him at 37, 38, 39 and I don’t even want to put him in the lineup and I’m paying him a fortune. I don’t want those players on my team. I would be willing to take a risk that I could find another player I could pay that would be of the same ilk. I would run that risk and I would pay him the way I want to pay him.

“I would not get caught having a $150 or $200 million dead dollars on the back of the roster in six or seven years. That is what I don’t want at any cost. That is deadly for franchises when it happens. That’s the worst thing that can happen to a franchise.”

James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.