The New York Yankees are confident that they will retain slugger Aaron Judge on a big contract extension, despite the fact that he’s meeting with the San Francisco Giants and being treated handsomely.
Judge is coming off a historic campaign at 30 years old, hitting .311 with a 42.5% on-base rate, including 62 homers and 131 RBIs over 157 games. The narrative that Judge can’t remain healthy has been debunked, considering he’s played in a minimum of 148 games over the past two seasons.
Reports initially indicated that Judge could earn upward of $40 million, but Jack Curry of the YES Network suggested that the Yankees have an eight-year, $300 million deal on the table, which would come in at $37.5 million per season.
“You have to believe the deal is probably a 8-year deal in the 300 million dollar range. That is where I think we stand. I think the Yankees are hopeful [Judge] will be their right fielder in 2023.”Per Jack Curry of YES Network
The Yankees must be willing to get Judge an extra year if they can reduce the AAV:
If the Bombers can retain Judge below $40 million, it would be a huge victory. It would essentially allow general manager Brian Cashman to continue spending, despite their overall strategy relying on Judge’s new deal and how much they will pay him on a yearly basis.
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However, Judge has significant interest from the Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers, who both have a significant amount of salary space to utilize if they want to make sizable offers. Judge has already indicated that he prefers to go to a team that is willing to continue adding pieces after his contract is settled. He would like to figure things out sooner rather than later, so the Yankees essentially have to wait until they find out their competitor’s offer to gauge their willingness to exceed that amount or match with benefits.
There is no question that being a Yankee offers the best financial position regarding brand development and fan awareness. Judge has already carved out a sizable market share for himself in New York and could easily leverage that into a significant amount of money down the road that doesn’t even correlate to his contract.
In other words, there are benefits to playing with the Yankees that other teams can’t match, specifically the brand awareness and near guarantee that they will make the playoffs every year.