After the New York Yankees saw their preseason efforts rejected when Aaron Judge tossed away a seven-year, $213.5 million deal (with a 2022 arbitration salary attached), they must’ve known they were going to have to approach the Mike Trout-held record for position player AAV in order to retain him after the season.
The only thing they didn’t know was how good a season Judge would have, and whether or not the onus would be on them to bring him back at all costs.
Turns out, pretty good! Judge passed the American League home run record, slamming his 62nd of the season in Arlington and setting himself up for a record payday. Per the latest report from Jeff Passan, the Yankees’ initial offer reflected the new normal, and the team hopes to have a resolution on a potential Judge deal by the end of the Winter Meetings.
According to Passan, the Yankees’ offer sits at approximately eight years and $300 million, which appears to have been made before Judge departed for the San Francisco stops on his free agency tour.
It doesn’t seem like anything that has happened between Judge and the Giants shattered the estimation that No. 99 is more likely than not to return to the Bronx. If that’s the case, how much higher will the Yankees have to go to satisfy him? An additional year at a similar AAV? A few more million per year as a gesture of goodwill, along with the captain’s C? There’s nothing to be ashamed of about the current offer, though Judge still needs to complete the process.
Yankees contract offer to Aaron Judge would set free agency record
It’s also important to note that YES Network’s own Jack Curry tossed out the exact same figures the other day as a casual estimate for where Judge’s deal would end up.
Let this be a lesson, for those who doubted it: when Curry throws out a number, he’s not just throwing out a number. He knows.
Whether the Yankees are “hopeful,” “confident,” or some combination of the two about their ability to retain Judge, it’s clear they’re serious about offering a number that matches the season he just put up.
The back end of this deal will hurt, in all likelihood, but the Yankees are uniquely positioned to absorb that pain. They’re also uniquely positioned to take advantage of Judge’s stardom in the meantime.
The Yankees won’t be increasing this record-setting offer until they’re pressed to. As of now, it appears a conclusion is coming — unless Judge can conjure up another “Hometown Mystery Team” in the next few days.