Judge gets nine-year, $360 million contract to remain in the Bronx
After being courted by Steph Curry and his favorite childhood team, 2022 AL MVP Aaron Judge has decided to re-sign with the New York Yankees with a nine-year, $360 million contract. He’ll have a top-five salary in Major League Baseball and returns to a team and a city where he set an American League record by bashing 62 home runs this past season.
The California native seemed torn between the San Francisco Giants, Yankees and offers from the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres, but reportedly got an increased offer from the Yankees and flew to the MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego to finalize his decision. It has been reported that the Padres may have offered as much as $400 million, but Judge opted to stay in New York.
The Follow The Money crew jumped on the news quickly and got a reaction from former Miami Marlins President (and Survivor contestant) David Samson:
2023 World Series Odds
With Judge back in the mix, DraftKings Sportsbook lists the Yankees at +900 to win their first World Series title since 2009. New York was swept by the Houston Astros in the ALCS this past postseason after outlasting the Cleveland Guardians in five games in the ALDS.
The Houston Astros remain the favorite at +550, but the Yankees are the second AL team on the board and a clear one at that, as AL East rival Toronto sits at +1200 with a quiet offseason to this point for the Blue Jays. The Seattle Mariners are next at +1600.
2023 AL Pennant Odds
Division odds are not out yet, but the AL pennant odds are and DraftKings lists the Yankees at +450, second to the Astros at +275. The Blue Jays are +550, followed by the Mariners at +800 and everybody else at +1300 or higher.
When AL East odds do come out, the Yankees will be the favorites, barring some splashy signings from the Blue Jays during the offseason. The Hot Stove is very hot now, as the Boston Red Sox just added Kenley Jansen, Guardians added Josh Bell and other dominoes will be falling quickly in light of Judge’s signing. He and Trea Turner (11 years, $300 million) set the market for other big-name free agents like Carlos Correa and Xander Bogaerts.
Aaron Judge stats
Judge bet on himself this past season by not taking New York’s original contract extension reportedly worth $230.5 million over eight years. All he did was lead the league in home runs for the second time (2017 - Rookie of the Year with 52) and also sit atop the league in RBI, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS and OPS+.
Judge owns a .284/.394/.583 slash line with 220 home runs and 497 RBI in his Yankees career. He’ll be 39 when the contract ends and may be a full-time DH sometime during the deal, but he is a prolific hitter when healthy. He’s played 148 and 157 games the past two seasons, which quieted a lot of talk about his durability when he was limited to 112 games in 2018, 102 in 2019 and 28 during the COVID-shortened 60-game season in 2020.
MLB Free Agency
Judge, Turner, Justin Verlander and Jacob deGrom have signed, but there are plenty of other free agents likely to sign in the coming days, as the MLB Winter Meetings draw to a close on Wednesday. A lot of less-heralded players are also getting inked as teams seem to be willing to spend lots of money this offseason and do so very early in the process.
Opening Day is March 30, 2023 with all 30 teams set to be in action.