Yankees avoid arbitration with nine players including Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge

On Friday the Yankees agreed to terms with all nine of their players who are arbitration-eligible. The list includes Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez who both got nice pay raises in their first year of eligibility.

This was an important day for the Yankees and the nine players they agreed to terms with because they avoided the drama that usually comes with arbitration hearings. The last time they went to a hearing with a player was back in 2017 when Dellin Betances lost his case and was then ripped into by team president Randy Levine.

Fortunately, this time around everyone got the raises they deserved, especially Judge, Sanchez, and James Paxton who was in his final year of arbitration before he can become a free agent next offseason. After making $9.5M a season ago Paxton is set to earn $12.5M in 2020. If he puts together another solid season he’s going to cash in a big contract next offseason because he’ll be one of, if not the top starter available on the free-agent market.

As for Judge and Sanchez, they both got the biggest boost in pay after they each only made a little under $700,000 a season ago. Judge will make $8.5M next season while Sanchez agreed to terms for $5M. At those figures, they’re still both underpaid based on their production from a season ago, but their salaries will continue to rise each year until they can become free agents for the first time in 2023.

Among the other Yankees who avoided arbitration were Gio Urshela ($2.475M), Tommy Kahnle ($2.65M) and Chad Green ($1.275M). Luis Cessa, Jordan Montgomery and Jonathan Holder also agreed to terms on one-year deals that are under $1M. All nine players who agreed to terms on one-year deals can still negotiate and sign an extension with the club moving forward.

The Yankees would be smart to gauge Judge’s interest in a potential extension because well know how expensive it’s going to be to sign him if he ever reaches free agency. You could say the same thing about Sanchez as well, although it might be smarter to hold off on opening up talks with him until he proves he can stay healthy for a full season.

Next: Three Yankees who could still be traded before Opening Day

In other news, the Yankees also finally made Brett Gardner’s new deal official on Saturday. In order to make room for him on the 40-man roster, they designated LHP Stephen Tarpley for assignment.

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