Hal Steinbrenner: 'No regrets' about not signing Judge in offseason
"We made an offer that I feel was a very good one," Steinbrenner said, according to the New York Post's Dan Martin. "It was based on the numbers, of course, but it was also based, in part, on what he means to the organization. It was a combination of both. And we just didn't get a deal done."
Judge turned down a seven-year, $213.5-million contract extension in April, opting to bet on himself during his final season before free agency.
The 30-year-old has been a major force for the Yankees, who own MLB's best record. He's in the midst of an MVP-type season, slashing .281/.360/.612 while leading the majors in home runs and runs scored.
Steinbrenner added that the Yankees have several months to potentially increase their offer to Judge and the club won't provide updates on the situation during the season.
"I completely agree with Aaron - and still do - that in no way shape or form can this be a distraction," Steinbrenner said. "Our sole focus is winning a championship. That's all anyone needs to worry about right now. We'll see where we end up."
The Yankees executive expressed optimism about the team's chances to sign Judge long term once the season is over.
"There's no doubt we're hopeful that is the case," Steinbrenner said. "But there's a lot of discussion to be had and I'm always willing to talk."
Judge is earning $19 million this season after settling to avoid arbitration with the Yankees in June.