Tuesday December 5, 2023

Aaron Judge Could Command Record $500M In Free Agency

  • Leigh Steinberg thinks Yankees superstar could score $500 million, 10-year deal.
  • Judge is “an immediate box office draw,” Steinberg tells FOS.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

$500 million. 10 years. All guaranteed.

That’s the monster deal New York Yankees superstar Aaron Judge could land as he enters free agency, according to super-agent Leigh Steinberg.

That would be the richest player deal in Major League Baseball history. But if there’s anybody who could become baseball’s first $500 million player, its Judge, who set the new American League record with 62 home runs this season. 

“He immediately and dramatically enhances a team’s offensive output. He’s a good team player. And for any team that’s not sold out, he’s an immediate box office draw,” Steinberg told Front Office Sports. “So he might be one of the few players who pays for part of his contract in ticket sales.”

Steinberg, the real-life inspiration for the movie “Jerry Maguire,” knows whereof he speaks. He negotiated the biggest contract in the NFL — Patrick Mahomes’ $450 million, 10-year deal. Over his 40-year career, Steinberg has secured $4 billion worth of contracts for over 300 athlete clients. 

YES ‘Satisfied’ Aaron Judge’s Historic HR Came During Its Telecast

Despite attempted horse-trading among national channels, Aaron Judge hit his historic 62nd…
October 5, 2022

Judge turned down a seven-year, $213.5 million extension with the Yankees to test the potentially lucrative waters of unrestricted free agency. His bold decision is about to pay off.

A $50 million per-year contract would more than double his current $19 million a year salary. A 10-year pact would take the 30-year-old right fielder through his 40th birthday in 2032. 

Here’s how Judge’s potential deal would stack up against the highest-paid players in MLB via Spotrac:

  • Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels: $426.5 million, 12 years.
  • Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers: $365 million, 12 years.
  • Francisco Lindor, New York Mets: $341 million, 10 years.

MLB teams are loath to guarantee contracts as players enter the twilight of their careers. But the 2017 Rookie of the Year might be one of the few who can pull it off, Steinberg said.

The towering 6’7” slugger is the best player on the most famous baseball team in the country’s largest TV market. The home-grown Yankee is coming off the best year of his career in which he nearly won the AL’s Triple Crown with 62 home runs, 131 RBI, and a .311 batting average.

If the Yankees don’t pay up, their cross-town rivals in Queens are waiting in the wings. 

With a net worth of $15 billion, Mets owner Steve Cohen is the richest majority owner in MLB. Cohen bought the Mets for $2.4 billion in 2020. He proved with his Lindor signing that he’s willing to pay big money to bring a winner to Citi Field.

Potential bidders such as the San Francisco Giants or other clubs would have to weigh whether they want to pay a luxury tax for their increased payrolls. The issue for Judge, said Steinberg, is how many guaranteed years he gets under his new contract.

“The question is: Are you paying a long-term contract for past performance? Or future projected performance? But if a franchise was going to make a bet on future productivity, he’s about the best candidate around,” said the chairman of Steinberg Sports & Entertainment.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Baseball Extends Celebration of Negro Leagues With HOF Tribute Game

New event dovetails with planned MLB game at historic Rickwood Field.
A view of a 1914 Baeb Ruth rookie card in a protective casing from the Sportscard Guaranty Company.

Babe Ruth Rookie Card Sets Player Record at $7.2M

It’s the most expensive piece of Babe Ruth memorabilia ever sold.
A rendering of the SSG Landers new baseball stadium currently under construction in Incheon, South Korea.

Korean Baseball Team Building First Stadium With A Mall

The KBO’s SSG Landers are building a 21,000-seat stadium in Incheon.

Oakland Baseball Goes From A's To B's

Baseball's independent Pioneer League placing team in Bay Area city.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Premier League Sets New Bar with Media Deals


Featured Today

The College Football Playoff is considering rotating TV networks for the national championship game.

CFP Considers Super Bowl-Like Rotation For National Championship Game

Multiple networks could share rights to the championship game, sources told FOS.
Brett Favre
November 27, 2023

Favre Welfare Case Hold-Up? "AG’s Office Has Not Expressed Interest In Pursuing"

The DOJ interviewed Brett Favre in early 2020.
The future of the Pac-12 rests on a court decision.
November 24, 2023

The Pac-12 Plays Its Final Regular-Season Game. Then A Court Decides Its Fate.

The conference's future rests with a court decision.
Lane Kiffin
November 9, 2023

Ole Miss, Lane Kiffin Lawyers Argue for Dismissal of Player Lawsuit

FOS obtained audio of Lane Kiffin's interaction with the player behind lawsuit.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Multiple - USA Careers
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Saco Bay PT
Multiple - USA Careers
Shaquille O'Neal
December 1, 2023

A.I. Shaq? Authentic Files Trademarks Hinting at Virtual Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal and licensing group claim “ASK SHAQ” and “SHAQ A.I.”
December 2, 2023

Ohtani's Future Deal Takes Center Stage As Winter Meetings Kick Off

The two-way phenom is expected to sign the largest-ever player contract in U.S. team sports.

NHL’s Chris Foster on Amplifying Content Distribution With Automation

Learn how the NHL is using WSC Sports to increase fan engagement.
November 30, 2023

Tracking Devices and Bags of Cash: A Soccer Scandal in Turkey

Former Atletico Madrid player Arda Turan is involved in the scandal.
November 30, 2023

Ronaldo Sued For $1B In Latest Fallout From Athlete Crypto Deals

Soccer superstar latest to be hit in legal fallout from crypto decline.
Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen of The Netherlands celebrates his victory of the Las Vegas Grand Prix at Las Vegas Strip Circuit.
November 30, 2023

The 10 Highest-Paid Formula 1 Drivers For 2023

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen tops the list with $70 million.
Inter Miami CF forward Lionel Messi smiles as he walks on the field against the New York Red Bulls during the second half at Red Bull Arena.
November 16, 2023

The Results of Messi Mania Are In

A million people per match tuned in for Messi and Inter Miami.