You’d be hard-pressed to find a better player in Major League Baseball right now than Yankees‘ Aaron Judge, who’s having an MVP caliber season. At 30 years old, Judge is batting .287 with a 36.6% on base rate, 30 homers and 64 RBIs. He currently leads the league in long balls, generating a 59.5% hard-hit rate and 25.2% barrel rate. His HR/FB ratio sits at an impressive 32.6%. That means that 32.6% of his fly balls are turning into homers, which is an astronomical value.
However, despite his unbelievable season, the Yankees find themselves in a peculiar spot regarding his contract extension. General manager Brian Cashman failed to convince him to sign a seven year deal worth $30.5 million per season. Cashman pulled out every trick in the book to try and force Judge’s hand, but he stuck to his guns and bet on himself for the 2022 season.
Clearly, that was the right decision, since he’s in line to earn upward of $35 million per year.
“Imagine Aaron Judge … in Boston, where they won four championships in the last 17 years, and the Yankees have won one over the last 22 years. Or the Cubs, where they can build their franchise back up. … The Dodgers are always in play, and you mentioned his hometown club, the San Francisco Giants. The formula with the Giants, they filled that stadium up for 10 years with one marquee player (Barry Bonds).
By Rodriguez’s opinion, Judge could go to the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, or even his hometown San Francisco Giants. All four of these clubs would be willing to pay for one of the games most prolific players at such a ripe age.
“It’s a hell of a compelling argument if you’re the Yankees. No franchise can afford a player like the New York Yankees. Nobody can compare to Aaron Judge — his size, his looks, his Madison Avenue appeal. So I do believe the biggest ROI for the Yankees is keeping Aaron Judge versus any other player. And yes, the business will go on and the Yankees will always be the Yankees but I don’t think they’ll find a player since Derek Jeter who will connect with that fan base as Aaron Judge and feed the YES Network the star power they need.
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The Yankees can afford to retain Aaron Judge:
The Yankees have extensive cash flow to extend Judge on a mammoth contract, and there’s no chance they’re getting a hometown discount given his prospects. If the Yankees go on to win the World Series this year, ownership will have no choice but to retain their best player.
Hal Steinbrenner already stated on Wednesday that he wants Judge to be in pinstripes for life. He also mentioned how they made him a solid deal at the end of the off-season, but clearly that won’t be nearly enough to lock him into a long-term contract.