New York Yankees to make long-term offer to Aaron Judge, expecting extended contact

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The New York Yankees recognize that signing Aaron Judge to a contract extension before Opening Day is in everyone’s best interest. With the first pitch of the 2022 MLB season fast approaching, an offer could soon be made for the All-Star outfielder.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, general manager Brian Cashman confirmed the franchise intends to submit an offer on a long-term extension to the judge before Opening Day at Yankee Stadium on April 7 against the Boston Red Sox.

Entering his 30-year season, Judge is set to become MLB free agency. He is eligible for arbitration for the last time this year. However, the two teams are split on his 2022 salary, with New York offering $17 million and the All-Star outfielder asking for $21 million.

Eligible to enter the open market this winter, the 2021 All-MLB First Team selection told MLB.com he was “optimistic” a long-term deal would be reached.

Let’s see what a possible contract extension would look like for the Yankees and Judge.

Predicting an Aaron Jones contract extension

MLB: Spring Training - New York Yankees at Philadelphia Phillies
Jonathan Dyer – USA TODAY Sports

Drafted with the 32nd pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, Judge didn’t make his MLB debut until the age of 24 and he won Rookie of the Year honors in 2017 after his season as a 25 years. The age of the 6-foot-7 outfielder is one factor that works against him slightly.

Injury history and working age against Aaron Judge

Any team that wants to sign Judge to a long-term deal knows they’re offering him a multi-year contract that covers his game until he turns 30. This is important context to consider because Bryce Harper (13, $330m), Mookie Betts (12, $365m), Mike Trout (12, $426m) and Giancarlo Stanton (13) , $325 million) all signed massive contracts before they turned 27.

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There is another factor that works against Judge. The 282-pound slugger comes with an injury history that includes stints on the injured list for calf, lower body, shoulder and oblique issues. He played 148 games in the 2021 season, but missed more than 30 games per year from 2018 to 2020.

New York could improve his longevity by giving him more time as a designated hitter. However, it is already occupied for the same reasons by Stanton.

Those issues certainly won’t deter the Yankees from paying Judge the money he earned. Whenever he signs his next contract, he will be one of the highest paid players in MLB. We’re just adding the context of a potential offer he might receive.

Related: If you’re a Yankees fan, check out #Yankees rumours, rankings and news here.

Aaron Judge Stats & Performance

It’s fair to say that the New York Yankees have received far more value than they’ve paid for Judge over the past six seasons. Although the franchise may not have met its expectations, the slugger continues to perform at the All-Star level.

From 2017-2021, Judge ranks fifth in home runs (154), fourth in FanGraphs’ Wins Above Replacement (24.5), fourth in OPS (.954), and third in wRC+ (154). He is also outstanding defensively, having the second most defensive points saved (58) among outfielders.

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Judge is undeniably one of baseball’s best players. He’s also very marketable for a team that promotes its stars and relies on its brand more than any other MLB team. It all adds to the value Judge offers the Yankees.

The Yankees probably won’t make Judge an offer that extends beyond 10 years, there’s way too much risk based on his age and durability issues. However, an eight-year contract is quite possible and would allow Judge to finish his career in New York.

We wouldn’t expect the deal to exceed the total value that Trout, Harper and Betts received. However, he should easily make $28 million per season. It also wouldn’t be a surprise if deferred money was included in the deal, paying the judge once a year after he retires.

Related: MLB Games Today – MLB Spring Training In Progress

  • Aaron Judge’s projected contract: 8 years, $252 million ($31.5 million per year)

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