Aaron Judge is having a historic season.
From being a clear AL MVP frontrunner to chasing a Triple Crown, the New York Yankees star outfielder is showing up and out this year. Just a few days ago, Judge hit his 60th blast as he inches even 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 to a massive payday
“Very few people get this opportunity to talk extension. Me getting this opportunity is something special and I appreciate the Yankees wanting to do that,” Judge said after rejecting a seven-year, $213.5 million extension in spring training.
“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 seven-year offer the Yankees made would have made Judge the highest paid position player in team history on an annual basis, but yesterday’s price is not today’s price.
In March 2019, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout signed the largest contract in professional sports history, that was 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 deal with the Barcelona football club and NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who inked a 10-year $503,000,000 million dollar deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.
However, Judge has a big chance at not only being the highest-paid MLB player in 2023 but landing ahead of Trout's mega deal.
This year, Judge was looking for a $21 million salary for the 2022 season but the Yankees were offering $17 million and even offered to meet midway at $19 million. Judge ultimately agreed to the $19 million midpoint, with incentives of $250,000 for being named MVP and $250,000 for World Series MVP. But now he looks to up the conversation.
Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay believes that the Yankees need to go at least $100 million over their last offer, bringing the offer 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 offer:
|Contract Amount||Length of Deal||Projected AAV|
|$313.5 million||6 years||$52,250,000|
|$313.5 million||7 years||$44,785,714|
|$313.5 million||8 years||$39,187,500|
|$313.5 million||9 years||$34,833,333|
|$313.5 million||10 years||$31,350,000|
Judge turns 31 years old in April of 2023, so a 12-year deal will most likely not be on the table.
But after this 2022 season tear, it's more than reasonable that he could land a massive 10-year contract. A 10-year $400 million deal would give Judge an AAV of $40 million, which would put him in the No. 2 spot behind New York Mets pitcher Max Scherzer (AAV $43 million) but above Trout's AAV of $35.6 million per year.
Numbers like these are historic in the league. And even though the Yankees rank as the third priciest roster in baseball with a $253-million dollar payroll this season, keeping Judge will be the first thing on their to-do-list.
By turning down the Yankees’ initial offer, it’s clear that Judge knows his worth and may even test the waters a bit. Time will tell.