Before the start of the regular season, the New York Yankees offered Aaron Judge, their star player, a seven-year, $213.5 million contract to stick around for the long-term. The proposal, at the time, was deemed competitive, but the player and his camp rejected it. It was a bet on himself: “Thanks, but I’ll take my chances and see if my performance in 2022 can get me more money,” he must have said.
It was his right. And his bet on himself has paid off big-time. In 145 games and 646 plate appearances, Judge is slashing an otherworldly .316/.422/.703, with 60 home runs, a 211 wRC+ and an incredible 10.7 fWAR.
He leads all Triple Crown categories as of Friday (he also has 128 RBI), and could become the first hitter to achieve it since Miguel Cabrera in 2012. It has been a dream season for the Yankees slugger, and he is just one home run away from tying the franchise (and the American League) record for most long balls in a single season, held by Roger Maris with 61 in 1961.
The Yankees should have pushed harder for a deal during spring training
In hindsight, the Yankees should have pushed harder before the season to get a deal done. Now, Judge’s contract will likely start with a “3” and not with a “2”.
The New York Post’s Jon Heyman gave odds on the teams expected to be in the mix for the MVP frontrunner.
New York Yankees: Odds to stay – 1-5 (83% chance).
San Francisco Giants- Odds to go: 20-1 (5%).
Los Angeles Dodgers – Odds to go: 30-1 (3%).
New York Mets – Odds to go: 35-1 (<3%).
Boston Red Sox – Odds to go: 50-1 (2%).
Texas Rangers – Odds to go: 75-1 (<2%).
Chicago Cubs – Odds to go: 150-1 (<1%).
Field – Odds to go: 100-1 (1%).
The most likely scenario, at this point, remains Judge re-signing with the Yankees. They have the money and the urge, and the player would prefer to stay. Other teams, however, remain in the mix.