Judge ready for arbitration hearing: 'It's all business'
New York Yankees star outfielder Aaron Judge is well aware that his upcoming arbitration hearing with the team might be a strange process.
"It’s all business," Judge said Tuesday, according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch.
"For me, it’s plain and simple: I love this team, I love this organization and everything, but this is a business side of it that I don’t like at times. I don’t think a lot of people like it; I don’t think the team likes it. You have to go through, you handle it, and you move on."
The Yankees offered Judge a $17-million salary for 2022, while the 30-year-old's camp countered at $21 million. The two sides will have their hearing with an arbitration panel on Friday.
New York tried to lock up Judge before the season but had the seven-year, $213.5-million offer rejected.
Judge has let his play do the talking so far this campaign with an MLB-leading 25 home runs, helping the Yankees race to baseball's best record.
The three-time All-Star denies that his pending free agency incentivized him to produce on the field.
"I’m not really motivated by that kind of stuff," Judge said. "I’m more motivated by the type of team we’ve got, the special talent we have here, and the opportunity we have ahead of us. I try to just keep focusing on that, and it makes it pretty easy to block this other stuff with the business side out."
Judge added that he's received mixed opinions on arbitration hearings from other players, but he plans to let his representatives take the lead.
"I’m going to introduce myself to the arbitrators, then sit back and let my team do the work," Judge said.