The New York Yankees have consistently said they want to bring Aaron Judge back, but owner Hal Steinbrenner made it abundantly clear on Tuesday just how far they are willing to go.
Steinbrenner, speaking to reporters at the owners’ meetings, said there will not be any payroll roadblocks in the team’s pursuit of Judge.
“We know where we’re at,” he said. “I can tell you, that’s not gonna stop us.”
In recent years, Steinbrenner has made it more of a priority to get under the luxury tax threshold rather than spend big money on free agents, although they have been over since signing Gerrit Cole in 2020.
Judge will likely command north of $300 million, possibly $40 million per year but Steinbrenner — who said he met with Judge one-on-one — made it clear to him that the Yankees had the ability to “make this happen and still have money to make other things happen, too.”
He did, however, add “it depends on what the number is, of course.”
So Steinbrenner is not quite willing to spend crazy, but he may be willing to spend enough to get his star player back in pinstripes and pursue a World Series title — something that the Yankees have not done since 2009.
Signing Rizzo — who is close friends with Judge — on Tuesday to a two-year, $34 million deal was certainly a step in the right direction.
Now, it is just a matter of taking the next step in securing Judge.