Aaron Judge Reportedly Agrees Massive $360m Contract to Remain With the New York Yankees
The biggest will he, won’t he, discussion of this MLB off-season, or any for many years, is now over. Aaron Judge, who last year broke a number of big-hitting records, has reportedly agreed to a mammoth deal to remain with the New York Yankees.
In 2022 the 30-year-old hit 62 home runs, a franchise record, as the Yankees powered through the regular season with an impressive 99-63 record before losing to the Houston Astros in the ALCS game and found himself a free agent attracting a whole lot of attention.
He is said to have accepted a $360 million deal on a nine-year contract, an annual payout of $40 million, which is the highest average annual payout for a position player. Judge would argue he is worth every penny; after all, he set a new American League record with his 62 home runs in 2022 and is the key player in the franchise.
The Yankees were undoubtedly aware that losing the player would be disastrous, and to see him hitting the ball out of the park in another team’s colors would have been an unforgivable mistake they were not willing to make.
At the end of 2022, Judge, understandably, found himself among the best available MLB free agents and ranks head and shoulders above the others on the list and hence can demand anything he likes.
Judge was selected by the Yankees in the amateur draft in 2013, in the first round naturally, and he made his debut in 2016 and hit a homer at his first at-bat. Now the Yankees can build their team around their star performer and look to secure their first World Series title since 2009.
Conflicting reports suggest that the San Francisco Giants are willing to match the Yankees' offer, and it’s speculation that Yankees manager Aaron Boone doesn’t even want to consider it.
“I don’t even want to go there yet,”
“But at the end of the day, we’re the New York Yankees. The task never stops in trying to improve and become the best team we can be. Hopefully, that involves Aaron.”
Meanwhile, Judge is said to have been a little taken aback by the behavior of the Yankees in relation to the releasing of information relating to the extension he turned down some time ago;
“We kind of said, ‘Hey, let’s keep this between us.’ I was a little upset that the numbers came out,”
“I understand it’s a negotiation tactic. Put pressure on me. Turn the fans against me; turn the media on me. That part of it I didn’t like.”
More worryingly for the Yankees is the revelation, which Judge is freely discussing, that he made a bold prediction back in 2010 that he’d be playing for the San Francisco Giants and married to his then-girlfriend, Sam Bracksieck;
“I said, in 10 years, I’ll be married to Sam and playing for the San Francisco Giants,”
“I was like, that’d better not get out.”
This makes one wonder if this is part of an initial charm offensive by the free agent. Only time will tell.