Everyone knows Aaron Judge is going to break the bank when he becomes a free agent after the postseason.
But estimates of the value of Judge’s next contract have soared far past the reported seven-year, $214 million extension the New York Yankees offered the slugger before the season began.
In fact, a New York Post report Thursday says the total value of Judge’s next deal could go well beyond $300 million.
“He certainly will clear $300 million. But is he closer to $400 million than $300 million? Maybe,” a baseball executive told the Post, Jon Heyman reported. “He’s that important to the wealthiest team.”
Mike Trout holds the current record with the 10-year, $360 million extension he signed with the Los Angeles Angels in 2019. (That contract is sometimes listed as $462 million, given the amount the Angels already owed Trout for his next two seasons.)
Judge reportedly countered the Yankees’ offer this spring with a request for nine or 10 years at $36 million per year, for up to $360 million.
The Post polled four agents, and all came back with estimates of $300 million to $400 million on Judge’s next payday. However, the Post notes, “The current belief is that the Yankees prefer not to go to $40 million a year — or certainly not to $400 million total for Judge.”
While the Yankees are considered the favorite to retain the 30-year-old Judge, he will likely get offers from a handful of other franchises. Bookies.com gives the Yankees a 36.4% chance of re-signing him, followed by the San Francisco Giants at 25%, the New York Mets (15.4%), the Los Angeles Dodgers (11.1%) and the Boston Red Sox (10.5%).
Before the season, Judge said, “At the end of the year, I’ll be a free agent. Get to talk to 30 teams. The Yankees will be one of those teams.”
Now, after a historic season with 62 home runs, an almost certain MVP Award and countless accolades, Judge is in even more demand. But one MLB executive still feels the Yankees have the inside track, even if their offer comes in lower than others.
“If the Giants are at $370 million and the Yankees $330 million, he’d be crazy to leave the Yankees,” the executive told the Post.