Aaron Judge named Yankees captain in his official debut after signing a new $360 million contract

TECHNOLOGY

Aaron Judge was named the 16th captain of the New York Yankees on Wednesday after the franchise confirmed the star hitter had re-signed.

The Yankees finally confirmed that the American League MVP would remain in the Bronx in a $360 million deal through the 2031 season after drawing interest away from the San Francisco Giants.

After his record-breaking season, which saw him break Roger Maris’ AL record for home runs, the four-time All-Star won the Yankees’ captaincy — his first since Derek Jeter in 2014.

Aaron Judge was named the 16th captain of the New York Yankees on Wednesday

The Yankees officially unveiled the returning star on Wednesday after confirming his new contract.

The Yankees officially unveiled the returning star on Wednesday after confirming his new contract.

The hitter was rewarded with the title after hitting a record 62 home runs in 2022

The hitter was rewarded with the title after hitting a record 62 home runs in 2022

The #99 signed a new $360 million contract that will keep him in the Bronx through the 2031 season.

The #99 signed a new $360 million contract that will keep him in the Bronx through the 2031 season.

In his official presentation after signing his new mega-money contract, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner announced that the 6-foot-1 hitter would be the franchise’s new lead.

‘It is a great pleasure,’ said Steinbrenner, ‘thankfully, despite a brief absence, to welcome Aaron not only back to the Bronx, but also to welcome Aaron back to the Bronx as the 16th captain of this great organization, the New York Yankees. An honor and position he very much deserves.’

The judge described the title as an honor and insisted he was prepared to lead the team through any obstacles.

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner made the announcement during the judge’s official presentation.

Steinbrenner insisted the 1.80 meter slugger 'greatly deserves' the honor and position

Steinbrenner insisted the 1.80 meter slugger ‘greatly deserves’ the honor and position

‘This is an incredible honor. I don’t take it lightly,’ the judge began.

‘I will continue to lead by example. I know there will be some more responsibilities with that, but I’m here to embrace every obstacle and continue to lead this team and take this city to not one, but many championships in the future.

‘I want to thank everyone, my wife, Samantha and my family here. It means a lot. Thank you guys.’

Despite now trying to lead the Bronx Bombers to multiple Word Series titles, the Yankees came very close to losing their star in free agency.

Judge turned down a seven-year, $213.5 million extension offer before the season and was rewarded as he entered the offseason as the most in-demand free agent after his 62 home runs.

The slugger looked very close to heading home to California when the Giants pitched a big effort, featuring Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry to lure the umpire to San Francisco.

But the judge insisted that he belongs in the stripes as he claimed he still has unfinished business in the Big Apple.

The 30-year-old described becoming the Yankees' new leader as a

The 30-year-old described becoming the Yankees’ new leader as an “incredible honor”

The judge revealed he was speechless when Steinbrenner told him he would be named captain.

He said: ‘In my heart I knew where I wanted to be…but I would have kicked myself if I didn’t go through the process and see what other teams did. But I belong here in stripes and I want to finish my career here in New York.

CAPTAINS OF THE YANKEES

1. Clark Griffith: 1903-05

2. Norman “Kid” Elberfeld: 1906-08

3. Willie Keeler: 1909

4. Hal Chase: 1910-11

5. Frank Chance: Early 1913 – Mid-Season

6. Rollie Zeider: 1913 Mid-Season – End of Season

7. Roger Peckinpaugh: 1914-21

8. Babe Ruth: 3/13/1922-5/25/1922

9. Lou Gehrig: 4/12/1935-1939

10. Thurman Munson: 4/17/1976-8/2/1979

11. Craig Nettles: 01/29/1982-03/30/1984

12. Willie Randolph: 3/4/1986-10/2/1988

13. Ron Guidry: 3/4/1986-7/12/1989

14. Don Mattingly: 2/28/1991-1995

15. Derek Jeter: 06/03/2003-2014

16. AARON JUDGE: 12/21/2022-present

‘There’s a lot of unfinished business here in New York,’ he added, ‘I’m looking forward to finishing this business. Trying to leave a legacy here for the next bunch of guys that come after me.’

The California native revealed he was speechless when Steinbrenner told him he was going to be named captain.

“I was kind of speechless,” he said. – I don’t think I said anything for five minutes. I was taken back. This is an incredible honor. You look back at this list of individuals who held this title. It is an honor.

The last Yankees captain, Jeter, who led the franchise from 2003 to 2014, and Willie Randolph, who carried the mantle from 1986 to 1988, were also in attendance at the press conference.

When the judge wore stripes on the dais, he conspicuously didn’t have a ‘C’ on his jersey, much like the previous leader of the Yankees during his reign.

The 15th New York captain endorsed the changing of the guard by stating that everything about the umpire ‘screams leader’.

‘My playing career is over and I’ve gotten to know Aaron better over the last few months and everything about him screams leader,’ Jeter told YES! Network.

‘I said I think when I was here someone asked about him being made captain and I said the best thing to find out is to talk to his teammates because it’s unfair for me to say. I’m not around him every day and everyone says exactly the same thing.’

The judge was reportedly in San Diego when the Yankees put the $360 million offer on the table. The San Diego Padres also made a late bid, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, but once the Yankees showed their hand, the judge’s decision was made. USA Today says the Padres made a 10-year offer worth $400 million.

Former captains Willie Randolph (left) and Derek Jeter (right) were also in attendance.

Former captains Willie Randolph (left) and Derek Jeter (right) were also in attendance.

Yankees 15th captain Derek Jeter claimed ‘everything about the ref screams leader’

The judge conspicuously didn't have a 'C' on his shirt, just like Jeter did during his 11-year reign.

The judge conspicuously didn’t have a ‘C’ on his shirt, just like Jeter did during his 11-year reign.

Judge entered the offseason as the most sought-after free agent after his 62 home runs

Judge entered the offseason as the most sought-after free agent after his 62 home runs

He revealed that free agency was difficult, but he leaned on discussions with his ‘rock’ wife Samantha, who joined him on the dais at his press conference.

He confessed that the duo knew in their hearts that they belonged in the Big Apple.

“This whole free agency process was a different situation,” he admitted. ‘I think it was worth seeing some other places and hearing some opinions. After everything was done, I had a chance to sit down with my wife and talk about a few things. We came to the decision that was in our hearts. Our place is in New York.

Judge is a local Yankee, having originally been selected by the club in the first round (32nd overall) of the 2013 Freshman Player Draft out of Fresno State.

Over seven seasons with the Yankees (2016-22), he batted .284/.

The judge's wife, Samantha, joined her All-Star husband on the dais at the press conference.

The judge’s wife, Samantha, joined her All-Star husband on the dais at the press conference.

He revealed that free agency was difficult, but he leaned on discussions with his 'rock', Samantha.

He revealed that free agency was difficult, but he leaned on discussions with his ‘rock’, Samantha.

The 30-year-old man poses with his wife Samantha and parents Patty (right) and Wayne Judge (left)

The 30-year-old man poses with his wife Samantha and parents Patty (right) and Wayne Judge (left)

A right-handed outfielder, Judge was named the 2017 American League Rookie of the Year, batting . 284 (154-for-542) with 52 home runs and 114 RBI. Most recently, in 2022, Judge was named AL MVP, hitting an American League record 62 home runs and batting . 311/. .

Manager Aaron Boone stated that Judge had once been a de facto captain for the way he treated everyone within the organization, but expressed his satisfaction that this was confirmed.

“He’s everything,” Boone said. ‘Start between the lines, he is obviously an incredible two-way player, one of the great players in our sport.

‘He’s an ambassador for the game, but an ambassador for the New York Yankees. The integrity he has, the poise he has, the confidence he has and his ability to relate and connect with everyone within our organization.

‘He was already captain of the Yankees, but [I’m] glad it’s official now.’

In addition to re-signing Judge, the Yankees also signed Anthony Rizzo to a two-year deal worth $40 million with a club option for $17 million for a third year and added starting pitcher Carlos Rodon.

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