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Aaron Judge is having a historic season.
From being the clear front-runner for AL MVP to chasing a Triple Crown, the New York Yankees star outfielder has been showing up and out this year. Just a few days ago, Judge hit his 60th blast and came inches closer to Roger Maris’ American League single-season home run record (61).
As he puts the finishing touches on a record-setting season, the 30-year-old slugger is gearing up for a huge payday.
“Very few people get this opportunity to speak. To have this opportunity is something special and I understand that the Yankees want to do that,” The Judge said after a seven-year extension, $213.5 million in spring training was rejected.
“But I don’t mind going into free agency … At the end of this year, I’ll talk to 30 teams. The Yankees will be one of those teams.”
The Yankees’ seven-year bid would make Judge the highest-paid position player in team history on an annual basis, but yesterday’s price no today’s price.
In March 2019, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout signed the largest contract in professional sports history, worth $426.5 million. The 12-year contract with the Angels is now the third-largest deal in sports history. Behind soccer star Lionel Messi, who signed a 4-year $674,000,000 contract with the Barcelona football club and NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who signed a 10-year $503,000,000 million contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.
However, Judge has a very strong chance to not only be the highest paid MLB player in 2023 but land ahead of Trout’s mega deal.
This year, Judge was seeking a salary of $21 million for the 2022 season but the Yankees were offering $17 million and even offered to meet halfway at $19 million. The Judge ultimately agreed to the midpoint of $19 million, with incentives of $250,000 for being named MVP and $250,000 for World Series MVP. But now he looks to raise the conversation.
Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay believes that the Yankees must go at least $100 million over their last offer, bringing the bid to $313.5 million, but even that seems low. So let’s dig a little deeper. Here’s a look at a projected future AAV based on a $313.5 million dollar offering:
Judge’s projected future AAV based on an offer of $313.5 million dollars
But after the tear of this 2022 season, it’s extremely reasonable that he could land a massive 10-year contract. A $400 million deal would give Judge a 10-year AAV of $40 million, putting him in the No. 1 spot. 2 behind New York Mets pitcher Max Scherzer (AAV $43 million) but above Trout’s AAV of $35.6 million per year.
Numbers like this are historic in the league. And while the Yankees rank as the third price roster in baseball with a $253-million dollar payroll this season, keeping Judge will be the first thing on his list.
By rejecting the Yankees’ initial offer, it’s clear that Judge knows his value and might even test the waters a bit. The storyteller likes the weather.