Hal Steinbrenner’s negotiation with Aaron Judge was surprisingly simple

Hal Steinbrenner closed the deal with Aaron Judge. His tactics were remarkably simple, but they worked.

Aaron Judge is the next New York Yankees captain. As he should be.

Following him and the Yankees agreeing to a massive, nine-year $360 million deal that averages at $40 million per year, Judge is back with New York despite it initially looking like San Francisco or even San Diego were realistic possibilities.

Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman, who just got a four-year contract extension, will be credited with the deal, but Cashman admitted that team owner Hal Steinbrenner closed it.

Columnist Bob Nightengale wrote about the deal and the fury of rumors and reports that came out over the span of about 12 hours. In it, he talked about Hal and Aaron’s discussions and how he finalized the deal, getting Judge to agree to stay in New York.

Hal Steinbrenner keeps it simple to sway Aaron Judge toward staying with Yankees

In Nightengale’s column, here’s what he said about what Hal said to Judge to get him to stay:

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner, who was in Italy, telephoned Judge and asked him directly:

“Do you want to be a Yankee?’’

Judge reiterated it was still his desire, and Steinbrenner responded by asking just what it would take to sign him.

Judge asked the Yankees to at least match the Giants’ offer.

Steinbrenner quickly agreed.

Though it would have been more interesting if the backstory involved the Yankees pulling out all the stops and putting on some elaborate scheme to convince Judge to stay, in the end, what convinced him was basic negotiation at its basic core: Finding out what the other party is agreeable to and offering it.

That’s how it should be. Judge knows the Yankees and is familiar with what the team can offer him. Things like the captain title are “nice”, but non-monetary items were unlikely to push the Yankees over the top.

And whatever he wanted, the Yankees should have provided.

Hal put his money where his mouth was and just got the deal done, no funny business. If you’re a Yankees fan, you have to appreciate it. It’s the most George Hal has shown since taking over the team.

Good work. Good, efficient work.

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