Aaron Judge, Paul Goldschmidt win MLB’s Hank Aaron Awards

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NEW YORK — New AL home run king Aaron Judge and St. Louis slugger Paul Goldschmidt won Hank Aaron Awards on Wednesday that reward the most outstanding offensive performers in each league.

Judge and Goldschmidt are both finalists for the Most Valuable Player honors that will be presented next week by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Now a free agent, Judge hit 62 home runs last season with the New York Yankees, topping the American League record of 61 set by Roger Maris in 1961.

Judge also led the majors in slugging percentage (.686), on-base percentage (.425), OPS (1.111) and runs (133), and his 131 RBIs tied Pete Alonso of the Mets for most in the big leagues. Judge batted .311, second in the AL, and was in contention for a Triple Crown until the final days of the season.

Goldschmidt led the NL in slugging percentage (.578) and on-base average (.404) while hitting .317 with 35 home runs and 115 RBIs. The Cardinals first baseman also won the Hank Aaron Award in 2013 with Arizona.

Every team nominates candidates for the Aaron awards. A group of MLB.com writers choose the eight finalists in each league, and fan votes are added to the picks by a panel of Hall of Fame players.

The awards are sanctioned by Major League Baseball and named for the Hall of Fame Braves outfielder.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.