The Yankees made their new contract with Aaron Judge official on Wednesday morning and officially named him the next captain of the team.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) December 21, 2022
The Yankees didn’t spare any of the usual pomp and circumstance. Brian Cashman gave his usual spiel about how important the reigning MVP is to the team. Aaron Boone discussed his own experience watching Judge grow as a player and leader.
But it was owner Hal Steinbrenner who indirectly reminded everyone it was he who closed the deal with the new captain. In fact, some may argue he channeled the ghost of his father George.
“As far as I’m concerned, you are not a free agent,” Steinbrenner claimed to have said in the process. “As far as I am concerned, you are a New York Yankee.”
A long free agency and stressful Jon Heyman mistake later, here we are. Aaron Judge has re-signed with the Yankees on a nine-year, $360 million contract and is the new team captain. Moreover, he won’t be asking for a trade in a few years if things go south.
“I belong in New York,” he said after taking the podium. Judge also mentioned how he and his wife came to the conclusion that New York was where they wanted to be, and that there was “unfinished business” he wanted to get to.
Aaron Judge now joins some elite company among former Yankee captains. The title has been bestowed upon Hall of Famers Lou Gehrig and Derek Jeter, plus fan favorites Don Mattingly and Thurman Munson. In fact, Jeter was in the building and on the dais for Judge’s captaincy coronation.
But in reality, this was all a formality. First baseman and close Judge confidant Anthony Rizzo said back in October that Judge deserved to be the captain. Popular pitcher Nestor Cortes said the same thing. And people say manifesting doesn’t work, right?
Aaron Judge is not just a Yankee for life, but he’s now the team captain. Let’s see him build his winning legacy.