New York Yankees fans shouldn't be concerned when outfielder Aaron Judge reaches free agency after the 2022 season. Judge expressed a desire to remain a Yankee for life Thursday, telling Fanatics Live he wants to be a Yankee "for the next 10 years."
Technically, that's not for life. But Judge made it clear he likes the idea of staying with the Yankees his entire career.
The relevant portion of the interview takes place around the 14-minute mark.
When asked about following in Mickey Mantle's footsteps and remaining a Yankee his entire career, Judge responded:
"To be honest, there's no better place to play. No other place I would really ever want to play, just based on how the fans have embraced me, how they brought me in and treated me as one of their own. It's incredible, getting a chance to play at Yankee Stadium. That place, every night being basically sold out. The fans always having your back. It's a dream come true. That would be a wish of mine, a goal of mine, to finish my career as a Yankee, but you never know what the cards hold. But, if it was up to me, I would be a Yankee for the next 10 years, for sure."
Judge — who grew up in California — said he used to fantasize about getting drafted by the San Francisco Giants, the team he supported when he was young. Even in that scenario, Judge said he envisioned himself signing with the Yankees in free agency and finishing his career with the team.
Things didn't exactly work out that way. The Yankees drafted Judge in the first round of the 2013 MLB draft and he's been with the team ever since.
Will the Yankees work out a long-term deal with Aaron Judge?
When healthy, Judge is one of the best hitters in the game. In six seasons with the Yankees, Judge has a .276/.386/.554 career slash line with 158 home runs. He's a three-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger winner.
Judge will be 30 by the time he hits free agency, and that could affect the Yankees' decision to sign him to a long-term deal. Early indications suggest age won't be an issue. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman reportedly dropped hints at the GM meetings that the team is willing to discuss a long-term deal with Judge.
The two sides will have all offseason, and all next season, to come to an agreement before Judge hits the open market.