Disappointment, frustration, depression, rage. The emotions I have felt as a Yankees fan in the days since the Yankees were swept, SWEPT, by Houston in the ALCS. 

I’ve addressed what went wrong in the ALCS. If you need to commiserate, our Death of the 2022 New York Yankees was truly therapeutic. Barnes and I tore into management. We mocked Josh Donaldson. We held some of our favorite players, Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres accountable.

I addressed it on our YouTube channel, taking a more business and less emotional, though still very emotional, approach with Derrik. 

I don’t need to rehash the ALCS again. We know what happened. Instead, we need to begin the process of moving on. Today is a little less disappointing, frustrating, depressing, and rageful than yesterday. We can say that we hate the Yankees. We can say we’re never watching baseball again. We can say it, but we all know it’s not realistic. Accepting that means that the next step is looking towards the offseason.

We’ve been dreading this day. It’s time to face the Aaron Judge free agency situation. 

If the Yankees had won the World Series, I think Aaron Judge almost immediately re-signs with the Yankees. I think everyone in the Yankees organization is riding a championship high and that deal gets done before the ticker tape parade is over. That was the best possible ending to the 2022 season.

Unfortunately, the season ended on a much lower note. As I write this today (I know feelings may change), I think it is a real possibility that Aaron Judge is no longer a New York Yankee. I fear that Brian Cashman holds the postseason failure of Aaron Judge against him in contract negotiations.

I do believe that Aaron Judge will eventually overcome his postseason struggles. He has improved aspects of his game every year, his next hurdle is becoming a postseason hero shaking his developing reputation as a postseason dud. That being said, we have to face the fact that his lack of postseason success will be used against him, which is a dangerous way of negotiating with your best player, a true all time Yankee.

I am very concerned that the Yankees will give Aaron Judge a “fair” contract offer knowing they will be outbid by a West Coast team like the San Francisco Giants or the Los Angeles Dodgers. I think Brian Cashman, for reasons I cannot understand, would be willing to let Aaron Judge walk as a free agent.

To me this is foolish, Aaron Judge has the potential to finish his career as a Hall of Fame player. He will likely overcome his lack of postseason success leading a team to a World Series, if he continues to have chances to play in the postseason. He has the potential to be a large part of Brian Cashman’s legacy, why not re-sign Aaron Judge?

Brian Cashman’s legacy is good but not great. The Yankees have not been very dynastic under his reign. Those World Series championships in his early career were a legacy of Gene Michael. Brian Cashman didn’t draft Derek Jeter or Andy Pettitte. Brian Cashman didn’t sign Mariano Rivera as an international free agent. Brian Cashman didn’t trade for Paul O’Neill, David Cone, or Tino Martinez. 

Brian Cashman’s true legacy is the 2009 World Series Championship. His current legacy of true Yankees, developed through the system is Aaron Judge. The remaining legacy of developed players is far from stellar. Brian Cashman has one all time Yankee that he is responsible for in over 20 years, maybe it would be a good idea to keep him?

Unfortunately, I don’t think Aaron Judge is back. Maybe my disappointment is clouding my judgment but I am bracing myself the real possibility that losing the World Series was just the start of a bad offseason.

Prepare yourself too. I’m here for you, we’ll commiserate together.

By JMo

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