Matter of time until Judge gets paid
Aaron Judge is poised to get his mega contract that can have him as a Yankee for life.
The Philadelphia Phillies signed Bryce Harper to a 13-year, $330 million deal recently, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are about to get Mike Trout to agree to a 12-year deal worth $430 million.
The next superstar of baseball in Aaron Judge is only making a paltry $684,330 in his entry-level contract, and his contract will be friendly to the Yankees for the next few years.
There’s no question Judge will be a millionaire in his next contract. Here’s the question: Will he make as much as Trout and Harper? Does he surpass those two as the highest paid player in the sport? Will he be the highest paid player in all of four revenue-making sports leagues?
The Yankees star has had two impressive campaigns in his first two seasons of playing Major League Baseball. He hit 52 home runs and drove in 114 runs in his first full season in 2017 and he followed it up by mashing 27 home runs and driving in 67 runs last season. He could have smashed 45 home runs and notched 100 RBIs this past season if he did not spend time on the disabled list with a wrist injury after being hit by a pitch by Royals pitcher Jakob Junis.
He’s even good in the postseason. In 18 postseason games he played, he homered seven times and knocked in 15 runs in 67 at-bats.
Judge makes the highlight reel in the outfield by robbing home runs and making diving catches.
He is the most marketable star the Yankees have had since Derek Jeter. He now becomes the signature of New York sports after athletes such as Odell Beckham Jr., Kristaps Porzingis, John Tavares and Matt Harvey crashed and burned on their way out of town. Baseball has a chance to market him since he plays in the biggest media market in the world and for the most historic franchise in the sport.
The Yankees can be proud of this homegrown star for being the player and person he has turned out to be. There’s no reason to think that will change based on the way he conducts himself and goes about his business. He’s a professional. He has made it in New York.
The Yankees should be good enough to play in the playoffs the next few years, so America will get to see if Judge can continue with his current trajectory. He is in his prime to shine.
The Yankees are likely going to want to sign Judge sooner and get rid of his arbitration years. They want to sign him to a deal where he can benefit them salary wise and vice versa. The timing is actually right to sign him sooner rather than later. He is playing well in his prime, and it makes sense to get him to a deal now where he can perform at the right side of 30.
Maybe he does not become the highest paid player in baseball when he agrees with a contract with the Yankees. He may not even pass what Harper and Trout are making. He could be content if the Yankees give him a 10-year, $250 million deal. I don’t think being the highest paid player in the sport is his priority, but an expensive deal is what he is seeking.
Yes, Harper and Trout have had the body of work to earn the type of deal received while Judge performed well for three years. Still, it makes sense now the Yankees pay him at his age now and get it over with rather than give him his deal at 30 years old. His price is only going to get higher each year if the Yankees stall, and it wouldn’t make sense to give him big deal that could extend to his 40s four years from now.
The Yankees should be in the business of keeping their core players long-term now. They have seen enough to think who they must keep long-term. Judge is a no-brainer.
He’s going to get paid what he thinks he’s worth barring injury.
Judge hasn’t talked about his contract publicly or privately. There’s no reason to. He realizes he will get his eventually.
This is more about timing than anything else.
Yes, it would be foolish to give a big deal to someone based on sample size. But this isn’t sample size. The Yankees know Judge well to know if he is worthy of a big deal now.
No matter what happens, Judge will have his day that he gets rewarded.