Aaron Judge has been named as the 16th captain in New York Yankees franchise history after signing a blockbuster contract.

The 31-year-old put pen to paper on a record-breaking nine-year, $360million deal on Tuesday to extend his stay with the Yankees and has now become the first franchise captain since Derek Jeter retired in 2014.

Crowned AL MVP last month, Judge broke the single-season Yankees and AL home-run record, reaching 62 to surpass Roger Maris Sr's 61 – set in 1961. He became the fourth Major League player to hit 62 or more homers in a single season.

Judge has set his sights high in his new position, plotting a course for multiple championships.

"It's a blessing and an honour. Getting a chance to continue something the Yankees are so big on, which is legacy, getting a chance to continue my legacy here in pinstripes in the best city in the world, the best baseball city in front of the best fans, this is an incredible honour," he said during a press conference.

"It goes without saying what an honour that is. I look back at the list of Thurman Munson, Lou Gehrig, Ron Guidry, Willie Randolph, Derek Jeter, Don Mattingly, that's a pretty good list right there.

"Not only great baseball players, but great ambassadors of the game and great ambassadors of the New York Yankees, how they pride themselves on the field day in and day out, how they take pride in what they do off the field to represent this organisation and represent these pinstripes.

"This is an incredible honour that I don't take lightly and I'm going to continue to try to be the same leader that I've been the last six years, continue to lead by example.

"I know there's probably going to be a couple more responsibilities with this, but I'm here to embrace every single obstacle and continue to lead this team and this city to not one but multiple championships down the road."

The Yankees finished last season as AL East champions for the first time since 2019 but have not competed in the World Series since 2009, when they defeated the Philadelphia Phillies.

The home run ball hit by New York Yankees star Aaron Judge to set the new American League record this season sold for $1.5million on Saturday via collectables marketplace Goldin.

Judge hit his 62nd home run on October 4 at Texas to break a tie with former Yankee Roger Maris, who hit 61 homers in 1961.

Cory Youmans caught Judge’s 62nd home run in the left field seats at Globe Life Field in Arlington, and turned down a $3million offer before deciding to put the ball up for auction.

The ball is the second-most expensive sold at auction behind the $3.05million paid by comic book artist Todd McFarlane for Mark McGwire’s 70th homer in 1998 when he was with the St Louis Cardinals.

"Multiple players have hit more home runs in a season, but in many people's eyes, Aaron Judge is the true record-holder," Ken Goldin, the executive chairman and founder of Goldin, told ESPN.

"The fact that this is the second-highest total ever paid for a baseball speaks to the respect that fans and collectors have for Aaron.

"That's the magic of sports – this ball didn't only change Aaron's life, it changed the life of the fan who was in the stadium that night, too.

"We're so proud to have been trusted by Cory to present this piece of history for public auction."

Judge was named the American League Most Valuable Player after batting .311 with 62 homers and 131 RBIs in 157 games.

He agreed to a nine-year, $360million contract with the Yankees earlier this month, making Judge the highest-paid position player in Major League Baseball history at $40million per season.

Aaron Judge has reportedly agreed a nine-year, $360million deal to stay with the New York Yankees.

The contract surpasses the $330m deal signed by Bryce Harper with the Philadelphia Phillies, making it the largest free-agent agreement in MLB history.

The slugger, who last season broke the American League record for home runs in a single season with 62, was the top prize on the market in MLB this offseason.

Chatter at MLB's winter meetings had indicated on Tuesday that Judge could be headed to the San Francisco Giants.

Judge was born in Northern California in Sacramento and grew up a Giants fan.

However, the four-time All-Star has eschewed the chance to play for his boyhood team and will now instead remain in the Bronx.

MLB Network's Jon Morosi and The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal each reported the terms of the deal, which is pending a physical.

A first-round pick of the Yankees in 2013, Judge has 220 home runs since making his MLB debut in 2016.

Only Nolan Arenado (229) has more home runs in that span.

His incredible efforts last season propelled the Yankees to a 99-63 record, the second-best in the American League.

However, they were swept by the team with the league's best record, the Houston Astros (106-56), in the ALCS. The Astros went on to beat the Phillies in the World Series.

Aaron Judge remains the New York Yankees' top priority in free agency, says general manager Brian Cashman, as they look to tie down the 2022 American League MVP.

The four-time All-Star has spent his entire MLB career at Yankee Stadium, but failed to agree a new long-term deal ahead of last season, instead penning just a short-term contract.

With the 30-year-old out of contract, his options are open after a season that saw him shatter the single-season American League home run record with 62.

Cashman says owner Hal Steinbrenner has met with Judge over his future, and hopes they will be able to convince the outfielder to re-sign with them sooner rather than later.

"We'd love to have our player back," he said. "We would love to continue to call him our player every step of the way as he follows what looks like a career path that will lead him to [Hall of Fame home] Cooperstown.

"I appreciate being in a position to have a conversation with a player of Judge's magnitude The ownership here has allowed us to stay in the game on a big-ticket item.

"That's great. I'm sure there's a lot of teams that would love to have access to a player of his calibre but can't participate because the asks are going to be so immense."

Cashman acknowledged there are risks to waiting on Judge's call, both for whoever may otherwise sign him and how it will shape the Yankees going forward.

But he believes the wait will be worth it if they can bring him back into the fold, adding: "It's not like we've missed time in my opinion.

"I understand the longer things go, the more at risk you are. It's easier if we are driving, but we're not driving it."

Aaron Judge is resigned to being an intrigued observer when the ball he struck for a record-breaking 62nd home run goes up for auction – declaring he cannot afford to join the bidding race.

The 30-year-old set a single-season Yankees and AL home-run record by reaching 62 to surpass Roger Maris Sr's 61 – set 61 years ago in 1961.

Judge became the fourth major league player to hit 62 or more homers in a single season, and his feat belongs in baseball legend, making the ball that saw him set the record on October 4 especially valuable.

It occurred at the home of the Texas Rangers in Arlington, with the spectator at Globe Life Field that caught the ball striking lucky by guaranteeing himself an apparent fortune.

According to ESPN, that man, Cory Youmans, decided to put the ball in the hands of Goldin Auctions "after weeks of a lot of deep conversations" with his wife and lawyer.

Youmans said: "It seems fair in the sense it gives anyone that is interested and has the means the opportunity to own it. As a fan, I'm curious to see what it's worth, who buys it and what they do with it."

Youmans is said to have already turned down $3million for the ball, with his lawyer, Dave Baron, suspecting the final selling price could be "significantly higher based on New York, the New York fan base and how crazy it could get at an auction".

That rules Judge out of contention, as he said the ball is "out of my price range right now".

The ball is listed with a starting bid of $1million, with the auction due to get under way on November 30.

Judge said of the seller's choice: "He caught the ball, he's the one that made the play out there in left field, so it's his right to do what he wants with it. Hopefully he's making the right decision for him and his family.''

The ball's value will not have been harmed by Judge winning the AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) award ahead of Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani on Thursday.

Aaron Judge has capped his historic season after being crowned the AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) ahead of Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani on Thursday.

St Louis Cardinals slugger Paul Goldschmidt was also voted the NL MVP, beating out Manny Machado of the San Diego Padres and teammate Nolan Arenado for the award.

Judge's MVP, the first in his career, came after he broke the single-season Yankees and AL home-run record, reaching 62 to surpass Roger Maris Sr's 61 – set 61 years ago in 1961. He became the fourth major league player to hit 62 or more homers in a single season.

The Yankees outfielder led the AL in home runs (62), RBIs (131), slugging percentage (.686), on-base percentage (.425), OPS (1.111) and total bases (391), while he chased an AL Triple Crown down the stretch, but ultimately fell short as Minnesota Twins' utility Luis Arraez (.316) won the batting title.

Judge received 28 first-place votes for 410 points, ahead of Ohtani (280) and Houston Astros' Yordan Alvarez (232).

The 30-year-old already had two top-five MVP finishes on his resume, in 2017 and 2021, winning Silver Slugger awards in both years.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said: "I’m grateful that I got to witness it first-hand and share in his magical year, especially given how much respect I have for him as a player and as a person."

Goldschmidt looked like the NL MVP since the All-Star break, batting .317 while leading the NL in OPS (.982) and slugging percentage (.578).

The Cardinals first baseman's 35 home runs finished one off his career-high, set in 2013 and equalled in 2017, giving him his seventh season with at least 30 dingers.

Goldschmidt won the MVP with 380 voting points, ahead of Machado (291) and Arenado (232). It is the sixth time in 35-year-old Goldschmidt's career that he has finished in the top-six for the award.

"I think definitely as you age, you have to adapt, and that's some of what I've tried to do. I've tried to get ahead of it," Goldschmidt told MLB Network. "I think it was my best season."

Exciting Seattle Mariners youngster Julio Rodriguez has been rewarded for his spectacular rookie season as one of the three American League (AL) outfielders named as Silver Sluggers on Thursday.

Rodriguez, 21, had arguably the best rookie season since Aaron Judge finished MVP runner-up with his debut campaign for the New York Yankees back in 2017.

In 132 games, Rodriguez led all rookies with 28 home runs, and became the third rookie to ever tally at least 25 homers and 25 stolen bases in their first year. He is the fourth rookie outfielder to ever win a Silver Slugger, joining fellow Mariner Ichiro Suzuki (2001), three-time MVP Mike Trout (2012) and Judge (2017).

Likely this season's AL MVP, New York's Judge joined Rodriguez in the outfield to collect his third Silver Slugger, with Trout filling the third outfield spot. 

Texas Rangers first-baseman Nathaniel Lowe, Houston Astros second-baseman Jose Altuve, Cleveland Guardians third-baseman Jose Ramirez and Toronto Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk complete the AL infield. Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez is in the designated hitter spot, and Atlanta Braves batting champion Luis Arraez was named as the utility.

The San Diego Padres landed three players in the NL team, with Juan Soto named in the outfield, while Josh Bell took the DH slot and Brandon Drury is the utility.

Los Angeles Dodgers teammates Trea Turner (shortstop) and Mookie Betts (OF) made the cut, as did St Louis Cardinals duo Paul Goldschmidt (first base) and Nolan Arenado (third base).

The Philadelphia Phillies had both J.T. Realmuto (catcher) and Kyle Schwarber (OF), and New York Mets second-baseman Jeff McNeil completed the line-up.

Exciting Seattle Mariners youngster Julio Rodriguez has been rewarded for his spectacular rookie season as one of the three American League outfielders named as Silver Sluggers on Thursday.

Rodriguez, 21, had arguably the best rookie season since Aaron Judge finished MVP runner-up with his debut campaign for the New York Yankees back in 2017.

In 132 games, Rodriguez led all rookies with 28 home runs, and became the third rookie to ever tally at least 25 homers and 25 stolen bases in their first year. He is the fourth rookie outfielder to ever win a Silver Slugger, joining fellow Mariner Ichiro Suzuki (2001), three-time MVP Mike Trout (2012) and Judge (2017).

Likely this season's AL MVP, New York's Judge joined Rodriguez in the outfield to collect his third Silver Slugger, with Trout filling the third outfield spot. 

Texas Rangers first-baseman Nathaniel Lowe, Houston Astros second-baseman Jose Altuve, Cleveland Guardians third-baseman Jose Ramirez and Toronto Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk complete the AL infield. Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez is in the designated hitter spot, and Atlanta Braves batting champion Luis Arraez was named as the utility.

The San Diego Padres landed three players in the NL team, with Juan Soto named in the outfield, while Josh Bell took the DH slot and Brandon Drury is the utility.

Los Angeles Dodgers teammates Trea Turner (shortstop) and Mookie Betts (OF) made the cut, as did St Louis Cardinals duo Paul Goldschmidt (first base) and Nolan Arenado (third base).

The Philadelphia Phillies had both J.T. Realmuto (catcher) and Kyle Schwarber (OF), and New York Mets second-baseman Jeff McNeil completed the line-up.

New York Yankees superstar Aaron Judge collected the first of many individual awards set to come his way when he was named winner of the American League's Hank Aaron Award.

Paul Goldschmidt of the St Louis Cardinals was named the National League winner of the award, which honours the player in each league who had the best offensive season.

Judge, 30, enjoyed the best year of his career as he broke the single-season Yankees and American League home run record, reaching 62 to surpass Roger Maris' 61 – set 61 years ago in 1961.

Making his fourth All-Star game, Judge also set career-highs in batting average (.311), slugging percentage (.686) and on-base percentage (.425) – leading the majors in the latter two metrics.

With two top-five MVP finishes on his resume already – in 2017 and 2021, winning Silver Slugger awards in both years – Judge is considered a lock to top the votes and claim his first this time around.

Meanwhile, Goldschmidt has looked like the NL MVP since the All-Star break, and was rewarded with his second Hank Aaron Award after also winning it back in 2013 with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Goldschmidt, 35, is set for his sixth top-six finish in MVP voting, batting .317 while leading the NL in on-base-plus-slugging (OPS) at .981.

His 35 home runs finished one off his career-high, set in 2013 and equalled in 2017, giving him his seventh season with at least 30 dingers.

Goldschmidt has two years remaining on his contract with the Cardinals, while Judge is set to enter free agency for the first time in his career.

Brian Cashman strayed away from confirming whether the New York Yankees have held contract talks with Aaron Judge.

Star slugger Judge opted to enter free agency, turning down a seven-year contract with the Yankees before the season started.

His stock has risen since then, with Judge having scored a record-breaking 62 home runs in the regular season and racked up 131 RBIs.

Yankees general manager Cashman on Friday gave little away when asked about the possibility of Judge returning next season.

"When you make these commitments on players, you know he's a fan favourite," Cashman said during a press conference.

"He interacts with our fans extremely well. He's respected within that clubhouse, handles his business as good as you possibly can. He's an elite performer – among the game's best, if not the best player. With all that being said, those are the types of players you want to retain and have as long as you possibly can."

Cashman added: "As George Steinbrenner [the former Yankees owner] said, he puts fannies in the seats. People want to go watch that guy play, and you want to put great teams on the field that they want to come here to watch compete and win.

"Certain individual players transcend the team and everything stops when they're at the bat or they have the ball in their hand. He's one of those types of talents."

Cashman, whose future is also unclear after his contract expired, has no issue with Judge biding his time.

"[Judge is] going to dictate the dance steps to his free agency and he has worked extremely hard to earn this position, so we'll see how this plays out," Cashman said. "It can tie you up a little bit along the way, but he's not the only guy that we're needing to deal with.

"He's the most important, but if he came in here today and said, 'Oh, man, I'm signing up, let's go,' there's still a lot of work to be done."

Aaron Boone spoke to Judge in his office after the Yankees missed out on the World Series when they were subjected to a clean sweep by the Houston Astros.

The Yankees boss reiterated that he hopes Judge will be back to lead the team.

He said: "Of course I hope he's back and a Yankee forever. I can't think of a better guy that you want to be leading your team and leading your organisation, and hopefully that all works out.

"But my conversations with him now are just communicating with him through the winter and hoping that it works out. But obviously, that's above me."

Aaron Boone's future as the New York Yankees manager appears assured with owner Hal Steinbenner stating he does not see a need for change.

The Yankees' long wait to reach their first World Series since 2009 extended after their clean sweep ALCS defeat to the Houston Astros concluded their season on Sunday, having gone 99-63 across the regular season.

Boone has been Yankees manager since succeeding Joe Girardi in December 2017, losing twice in the ALCS and twice in the ALDS during his tenure along with a disappointing Wild Card exit last year.

Despite the Yankees' Wild Card exit in 2021, Boone signed a three-year contract in October with the club option for 2025.

"As far as Boone's concerned, we just signed him and for all the same reasons I listed a year ago, I believe he is a very good manager," Steinbrenner told reporters on Wednesday. "I don't see a change there."

The Yankees' 2022 season promised much more, having started 61-23 with Aaron Judge in MVP form before injuries impacted their run home, losing D.J. LeMahieu (toe) and Andrew Benintendi (wrist).

Boone's side went 38-40 to end the regular season after their bright start, before a hard-fought 3-2 ALDS win over the Cleveland Guardians and their sweep defeat to the Astros.

"We didn't get the job done... it's time to get it done," Steinbrenner said. "Any time we don't win a championship, it's a disappointing year.

"We had a lot of good ups, we had some downs, we had some injuries like everybody else."

Judge's future at the Yankees remains a hot topic after his record-breaking 62-homer regular season but Steinbrenner would not be drawn on his status.

The outfielder turned down a seven-year contract prior to the season starting, meaning he is eligible for free agency after the World Series.

"We haven't talked about anything yet," Steinbrenner said. "Cash [general manager Brian Cashman] and I had some preliminary conversions."

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone says being subjected to a clean sweep by the Houston Astros "stings" after they suffered an "awful ending" to their season.

The Astros will face the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series after beating the Yankees 6-5 to win the American League on Sunday.

Houston remain unbeaten in the MLB postseason, having seen off the Yankees 4-0 to pile the pressure on Boone.

The Yankees were missing DJ LeMahieu due to a toe injury and Andrew Benintendi, who is recovering from wrist surgery.

Boone reflected on a painful conclusion to the campaign and was left to rue the absence of key men.

"It's an awful day, just an awful ending. It stings. It hurts," Boone said. "Obviously we had some key contributors missing that I think would have been difference-makers for us potentially."

Aaron Judge may have played his last game for the Yankees, having turned down a seven-year contract to stay eligible for free agency.

Judge failed to deliver in the postseason, but Boone defended the outfielder.

He said: "It's baseball, man. I mean, it happens all the time where the greatest of greats go through a struggle. It's a game of failure. You’re going to have some ups and downs."

The Astros and the Phillies start the World Series at Minute Maid Park on Friday.

The Philadelphia Phillies are one win away from the World Series after tying a franchise record for their largest comeback in postseason history with a 10-6 Game 4 win over the San Diego Padres in the NLCS on Saturday.

The Padres raced ahead 4-0 in the first inning, but the Phillies responded to square the game by the fourth inning, before pulling away thanks to four home runs at Citizens Bank Park to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Rhys Hoskins played a key role in the comeback, blasting two two-run homers, the second tying the game up at 6-6 in the fifth inning, before a go-ahead single from Bryce Harper, who went two-for-four with two RBIs.

Kyle Schwarber and J.T. Realmuto both launched solo home runs in the sixth and seventh innings to add insurance.

The Padres were two out in the first inning before Manny Machado led their early charge with a solo blast followed by Brandon Drury's two-run double and Kim Ha-seong's RBI.

Hoskins commenced an immediate response with his third home run of the postseason, before Harper's RBI cut the margin to one after the first inning.

Phillies shortstop Bryson Stott's base hit to left squared it up at 4-4 in the fourth inning before Juan Soto launched his first postseason homer, a two-run shot, to open up a 6-4 Padres' lead.

Hoskins blasted Sean Manaea over left-center field to tie it up, before Harper drove Realmuto home to take the lead.

The Phillies host the Padres again on Sunday, knowing only 14 of 91 teams have overcome a 3-1 deficit in a League Championship Series or a World Series to win.

Astros open up 3-0 lead with Yankees domination

The Houston Astros are also on the brink of clinching their fourth World Series berth in six seasons after a dominant 5-0 victory over the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

The Astros' pitching staff did the damage, with starter Cristian Javier allowing only one hit with five strikeouts across five-and-one-third innings. Javier had led the Astros' combined no-hitter at Yankee Stadium earlier this season in June.

The victory improved the Astros' postseason record to 6-0, having swept the Seattle Mariners in the ALDS, while it was their second shutout of the postseason too.

Chas McCormick blasted a two-run homer in the second inning after Harrison Bader and Aaron Judge's outfield mix-up allowed Christian Vazquez on base from a sky-high pop-out with two out.

The Astros loaded the bases in the fifth inning, leading to Gerrit Cole's removal despite seven K's, before Trey Mancini's sacrifice fly and Vazquez's two-run single from reliever Lou Trivino to capitalise.

Astros catcher Vazquez's brilliant game included a spectacular throw to second base to out Bader when trying to steal with the game poised at 2-0 at the top of the fifth inning.

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone claims the roof being open at Minute Maid Park cost his side in Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Houston Astros in Game 2 of the ALCS.

Aaron Judge missed out marginally on a go-ahead home run when his right-field shot was caught on the fence by a leaping Kyle Tucker in the eighth inning.

Statcast showed that shot would have landed in the stands at Yankee Stadium, but Boone said the wind from the open air at Minute Maid Park hindered Judge's chances.

"I think the roof open kind of killed us," Boone later reporters. "I think it's a 390 [foot] ball. I think it was like 106 [exit velocity] or whatever.

"I think Judge is a homer all the time. The wind was blowing across like that. I didn't think like he smoked it like no-doubter, but it felt like his homers to right."

The Yankees only managed four hits for the game and had 13 batters strike out with the Astros victory giving them a 2-0 series lead.

Boone, who is under some pressure, remained bullish his side could get back into the ALCS ahead of three home games, as they bid to make the World Series for the first time since 2009.

"We've just got to go home and get one," he said. "It starts with that."

The Yankees, who lost 4-2 in Game 1 in Houston, have managed only nine hits across the two games, while having 30 batters struck out.

"Both these games we were in," Boone said. "We've just got to find a way to do a little bit more offensively.

"We feel we can go out there and limit them enough, a very good offense and give us a chance.

"Certainly feel there's no one better than Gerrit [Cole] to hand the ball to, to get us right back in this."

The Astros, who are aiming to reach the World Series for the fourth time in six seasons, have a 5-0 postseason record after sweeping the Seattle Mariners. Three of the Astros' postseason wins have been by one run, while the other two have been by two runs.

Alex Bregman and Framber Valdez played the lead roles as the Houston Astros opened up a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven ALCS with a 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Thursday.

Bregman's three-run homer over left field opened up a 3-0 third-inning lead, with the Astros pitchers putting on a show to keep the Yankees at bay.

Valdez pitched across seven innings, with nine strikeouts, allowing only four hits, although his fielding error led to both of the Yankees' runs in the fourth inning.

Bryan Abreu ended the eighth inning with back-to-back 99mph fastballs to strike out Giancarlo Stanton after a 3-1 count.

Ryan Pressly got the save in the ninth, his third of this postseason, despite walking Josh Donaldson, striking out three batters including Matt Carpenter for the win as he tried to check his swing.

The Astros were great on defense, with third baseman Bregman knocking down a Gleyber Torres grounder straight to shortstop Jeremy Pena, who threw to first base to close the sixth inning.

In the eighth, outfielder Kyle Tucker plucked a great catch on the wall from Aaron Judge's right-field shot which fell inches short of a go-ahead home run with a runner on first.

Judge and Stanton had plated in the fourth, after Valdez fumbled the latter's grounder back to the mound before throwing wildly to first base, allowing both to third and second base respectively. Anthony Rizzo and Torres got the RBIs.

The third-inning blast from Bregman, who went two-for-four, means he has the most postseason home runs for a third baseman ever in the majors.

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