Give it to Aaron Judge: The guy is betting on himself and he’ll reap the off-season rewards when he becomes a free agent. How much he will get is part of the analysis and partial bidding war.
Judge is likely to win the MLS Player of the Year award. Roger Maris is set to score in one season a total of 61, possibly before the end of the week. He has already hooked up with Babe Ruth and is currently one of only six players to reach 60 points on their home ground. The last guys who did it? Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa in the 2001 season full of PED. He’s a stunning 20 times ahead of second-placed Kyle Schwarber.
In addition to his impressive home numbers, he is the MLS Triple A leader (.316/60/128) which is 14 points short of the hit average than being the Triple A lead (Freddy Freeman leads the league with a .330 average). After the Triple Crown, it ranked first in the league by SLG (.703), OPS (1.123), OPS+ (214), OBP (.419), Total Bases (372), Running (123), XBH (87), and War critical (9.7).
With such flashy numbers, his payday would be one of the highest ever. But on what scale?
As noted, the judge bet himself by turning down a seven-year, $213.5 million extension the Yankees offered him at this year’s spring training. According to John Heyman of the New York Post, in nine or 10 years he faced an offer of $36 million for $360 million.
that was Before Went on this 2022 tear. Its value rose even more.
If there’s one downside to Judge’s free agent contract it’s his age: He’ll turn 31 in April 2023. That factors into how he ranks in terms of total contract pay.
Mike Trout’s $426.5 million 12-year contract is the highest total value in MLB history. He beats the Mookie Betts at number two (12 years old, $365 million). The judge can slip somewhere in the middle depending on the average annual value (AAV).
The odds are high that this will be the judge’s first and last free agent contract. The 12-year deal would be a gamble given that he will be 43 by the time it expires. A ten-year, $400 million deal with incentives will give him $40 million AAV will rank him second by AAV behind only Max Scherzer ($43.333 million) and rank him #1 as a center player that puts him ahead on Trout (AAV) of 35, $541,667).
In addition to his stat items, Judge also has intangible items that add icing to the pie. Due to his current position with the New York Yankees, he has become a prominent marketing man. Recently he landed with SHOC energy drink. His other endorsements range from Adidas, Pepsi, and others.
So, could Judge land in the $400 million range? It has to be there, or potentially higher. The bigger question will be, will he stay at the Yankee Lines or will he go elsewhere? By refusing to extend during spring training, he would obviously be making several bids. However, not since Derek Jeter has had a player who seems to embody what it means to be a Yankee like Aaron Judge. We only have a few months before the free agency kicks off after the World Championships. We’ll know soon enough.