How much will the Yankees need to cough up to extend Aaron Judge?

aaron judge, yankees
Sep 5, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Judge (99) points to the dugout after hitting a two run home run in the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have a massive decision coming up after the 2022 postseason regarding superstar slugger Aaron Judge. General manager Brian Cashman offered Judge a seven-year deal worth $31.5 million per season, but after setting a number of impressive records and having one of the best seasons in baseball history, his price tag is expected to increase significantly.

There will be teams looking to steal Judge away from the Yankees, notably the San Francisco Giants and possibly the New York Mets, who seemingly have an unlimited amount of funds courtesy of Steve Cohen. However, the Steinbrenner’s have plenty of financial resources to bring back Judge and remain competitive for the foreseeable future.

First off, they can look to unload the contracts of Aaron Hicks and Josh Donaldson, plugging their positions with younger players like Oswaldo Cabrera and Oswald Peraza. The team also expects to get Anthony Volpe to the majors in 2023 at some point, especially after dominating in Triple-A toward the back end of the 2022 season.

The Yankees will go down fighting to retain Aaron Judge:

The Yankees will be competitive in their pursuit of Judge, who would prefer to stay in the Bronx but will go wherever the checkbook takes him.

“We know his worth to the franchise,” Yankees president Randy Levine said during a FOX News Radio interview. “We know his worth to the Yankees. He’s been carrying us and doing it with great poise and dignity. And we’ll see what happens in the off-season. It won’t be for a lack of trying.”

Losing Judge would be a massive stain on an organization that is known for retaining big-name players, especially ones that have sections carved out in their stadium.

ESPN polled 14 executives, agents, and insiders to gauge what Aaron Judge’s contract might look like:

Here are the 14 predictions from lowest to highest total dollars committed:

7 years for $259 million
10 for $265 million
8 for $280 million
8 for $280 million
8 for $300 million
7 for $301 million
9 for $320 million
8 for $320 million
8 for $328 million
9 for $333 million
9 for $335 million
10 for $340 million
10 for $341 million
10 for $375 million

As you can see, prospective deals range from seven years to 10 years, making it all the way to $375 million.

Realistically, Judge may get a contract with fewer years and bigger money, considering he’s 30 years old and would be 40 by the time a 10-year deal would expire.

A seven-year, $252 million deal could make sense for the Yankees, keeping him for a significant amount of time and paying him top dollar after carrying the team to the postseason. If the Yankees end up winning the World Series, Judge will have even more leverage, so the AAV could increase. Many projections have Judge leaving the Bronx to potentially take the 7 train over to Queens or head to the West Coast closer to home.

We will learn of his future in the coming months, but for now, Judge continues to mount leverage against the Yankees, who were desperately trying to get him to settle for a more reasonable deal before the 2022 campaign begins.