In spite of the disappointing end to the New York Yankees' 2022 season, no one can take away from the excellence Aaron Judge showed during the regular season. In his final year of team control, Judge went bananas, hitting 62 home runs and leading the MLB in almost every relevant offensive metric, and he's primed to make bank off of a historic season.

However, as the Hot Stove season commences, the Yankees are set to compete with other teams for Judge's signature, as his signing would not only be a boon to the lineup of whichever team manages to ink him to a long-term deal, he would also cause a considerable spike in fan interest.

Surely enough, GM Brian Cashman and the Yankees are prioritizing retaining the services of the 30-year old outfielder, and perhaps Aaron Judge's actions in recent days have sparked confidence in the Yankees brass that they're in front of the queue for his services.

According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, a Yankees executive feels “more confident” in the club's ability to retain Judge than before after the slugger's wife, Samantha Bracksieck, was seen running the New York City marathon this past weekend.

At first glance, there does not seem to be much reason to be given added confidence by mere participation in a marathon. It makes sense that Aaron Judge's family is living in New York, and it makes sense that his wife is participating in events held within the community.

Alas, with teams such as the San Francisco Giants and longtime rivals Boston Red Sox keeping the Yankees at their toes, it's understandable why they're grasping at straws just to find any sense of hope that their franchise cornerstone doesn't bolt for greener pastures in free agency.