Inclement weather provided the New York Yankees with the gift of an extra 24 hours to come to terms on a long-term contract with slugger Aaron Judge before his self-announced deadline of Opening Day, which was moved to Friday afternoon. 

Friday’s first pitch against the Boston Red Sox came and went without the signing of any agreement. 

Judge said last month he “wants to be a Yankee for life” but also made it clear he wished to both avoid a during-the-season arbitration hearing and end contract negotiations after Opening Day. Judge previously filed for $21 million for the 2022 campaign, but the Yankees countered with $17 million. 

A report emerged last week claiming the Yankees were “willing to pay in the range of $30 million a year” to keep the 29-year-old three-time All-Star who can hit free agency following the season. Per Marly Rivera of ESPN, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman directly told reporters ahead of Friday’s game that the club offered Judge a seven-year, $213.5 million extension that would’ve started next year after he earned $17 million for 2022. 

“We were unsuccessful in concluding a multiyear pact,” Cashman explained. “Obviously, our intent is to have Aaron Judge stay as a New York Yankee as we move forward, and I know that is his intent as well, which is a good thing. We’re going to be entering those efforts in a new arena, which would be at the end of the season when free agency starts, and maybe that will determine what the real market value would be, because we certainly couldn’t agree at this stage on a contract extension.”

Cashman added the Yankees’ final offer was an eight-year deal that would’ve been worth somewhere between $17 million and $21 million for this season and then increased to $30.5 million per campaign for seven years. 

“Not now, but hopefully later, that would be my message,” Cashman responded when asked about fans likely reacting negatively to this update. 

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