Mere minutes before the New York Yankees and Aaron Judge were heading into the slugger’s arbitration hearing (via Zoom? in a blank white room with a couple of judges 50 yards away?), the team attempted to make amends.
They offered Judge a $19 million salary for the 2022 season, which was smack dab in the middle of their proposal and Judge’s $21 million request.
Judge stood his ground and said no. He bet on himself with good energy by his side after Thursday night’s walk-off hit against the Houston Astros that further rallied fans in his corner.
Minutes later, however, the news was delivered that the two sides had settled and avoided the hearing. Something that could’ve been done three months ago. Something the fans had been calling for ever since the disparity in salaries revealed itself.
Once that news broke, it was evident the Yankees were the ones who bent, suggesting Judge’s 2022 salary would either be $21 million, or much closer to that figure than the previous offers of $17 million or $19 million.
No wonder he was “looking forward” to the arbitration hearing. He knew his employer was bluffing the entire time.
Yankees bend to Aaron Judge, settle before arbitration hearing
The franchise that’s worth $7 billion — SEVEN BILLION — waited until the 25th hour to simply pay what they likely knew they were going to have to pay the entire time. How did they likely know that? Because the independent arbiters couldn’t use Judge’s blistering start to the 2022 season as any sort of basis for determining his worth.
So, all the Yankees did was play a role in making their relationship with their best player worse. And don’t give us “that’s the business side of the game” crap. There’s business to every side of work. Conducting good business vs bad business is the difference. This was bad business through and through.
In the end, the two sides reportedly agreed to a $19 million salary with incentives — incentives Judge is likely well on his way to attaining at this point, given his mega-star turn. Again, total waste of time.
The details of this agreement suggest Judge wins. He got a higher salary than what the Yankees settled for and has the opportunity to make more amidst an MVP campaign.
The Yankees always knew they had a captain/MVP-caliber player in Judge and could’ve skipped the line, made the headlines disappear, and just coughed up a couple more million. The coolest part about this, though? Judge is blasting full steam ahead for the AL MVP as well as a World Series trophy.
Bring ’em both back to the Bronx and let’s see Hal sign those checks in a few months.