The New York Yankees and Aaron Judge have been battling in arbitration to settle on a 2022 salary. Previously, the Yankees were asking for a $17 million salary while Judge’s representatives were demanding $21 million based on his 2021 metrics.
Judge finished the 2021 season with a .287 average, 37.3% on-base rate, 39 homers, and 98 RBIs. While he didn’t walk away with many accolades, he was once again one of the best players in baseball and set himself up for what is currently a dominant 2022 campaign.
With the trade deadline coming up on August 2, the Yankees need a bit of cash to acquire reinforcements for the rest of the year.
If Judge won the hearing, he would’ve taken up all but $6 million from the Yankees’ pre-third tier luxury tax pool of funds. However, the sides settled at $19 million with incentives, according to John Heyman of the New York Post.
In a surprising development, Aaron Judge and the Yankees agreed to a $19 million deal (plus incentives) for 2022 to avoid arbitration, per source. @JonHeyman was first to report a deal had been made.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) June 24, 2022
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How much do the Yankees have to spend at the deadline?
Settling at $19 million leaves the Yankees with $8 million left over to utilize at the deadline if they want to acquire a player. $8 million should be enough if they land a player that is still below six years of service time or on a one-year deal.
After moving on from the arbitration issue, the Yankees now stare down a behemoth contract extension, which Judge is justifying with every passing day. On Thursday evening against the Houston Astros, he walked the game off with a single to left field, driving in José Treviño. On the year, Judge is hitting .304 with a 37.9on-basese rate, 27 homers, and 53 RBIs.
The Yankees’ star player is on pace for over 60 long-balls this season and a career-low 24.7% strikeout rate. In addition, Judge has made the transition to center field, increasing his value even more with stellar range and one of the best outfield arms in baseball.
Buy most accounts, Aaron is preparing to earn upward of $35 million per season, it’s just a matter of how many years he demands from management.