Aaron Judge
Tom Horak | USA TODAY Sports

Mike Francesa’s stance on Aaron Judge is not softening.

The WFAN legend continues to believe the Yankees need to draw a line in the sand with their MVP candidate when it comes to his pending free agency. Francesa reiterated on his latest BetRivers podcast that general manager Brian Cashman and owner Hal Steinbrenner should not give the slugger a long-term deal, even if it means he walks after this season.

Francesa said he would be willing to make Judge the highest-paid position player in baseball. But only if the deal has a shorter term than Judge is believed to seek.

“I’m not giving Judge that kind of contract. I’m not doing it,” Francesa said. “I know he’s having a great season. You can make the case he’s going to put some pressure on the Yankees. That’s fine. But if I’m the Yankees, I am not going to succumb to that pressure. I am going to make him a realistic offer, but it’s going to be an offer that I can live with. Not one that Judge can live with. And if Judge wants to pack it up and go somewhere else, I’ll replace him. When you have that kind of money to give to a player, you can always find another player.”

The Yankees offered Judge what amounted to an eight-year, $235 million deal (about $30 million per) when contract talks broke off on Opening Day. Judge reportedly was seeking a contract comparable to the 12-year, $426.5 million deal the Angels gave Mike Trout in 2019 (at $35.6 million annually). Judge has said he will not return to the negotiating table this season (although there have been reports that could change) and he plans to test free agency this winter.


Judge has since had a torrid start to this season. He blasted his Major League-leading 25th home run on Wednesday as the Yankees beat the Rays to move 30 games over .500. It has been a heck of a contract year so far. But his age (he turned 30 in April) and injury history do still linger as factors.

“I think that the Yankees made a very fair offer to Judge,” Francesa said. “I think Judge is having an MVP season. But I don’t think it should change how he should be paid. I have no problem paying Judge for six years, the No. 1 contract per year for any position player. I have no problem making the annual salary for him the highest in baseball for the next six years. What I won’t do is I won’t go and give him a $400 million, 10-year contract. I will not do that under any circumstances.”

The Yankees remain favored to retain Judge. But the Giants loom as a potential threat. They took a big swing at Bryce Harper before he landed with the Phillies, and Judge is a native of northern California. And if they blow the Yankees’ offer out of the water, Francesa believes the Bombers should stand down.

“Judge will be 31 during the season next year. It’s not like he’s 21 or 22 and he’s going to be 32 when he’s done,” Francesa said. “He’s going to be 40 when he’s done with the contract. So you are looking at some really bad years. Go ask the Angels about (Albert) Pujols, go ask the Tigers about (Miguel) Cabrera. Go ask anybody about those contracts, the Robinson Cano contract, go down the line. Those contracts will come back to bite you 98% of the time. I don’t want to give anybody that kind of contract.”

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.