New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge spent this weekend chasing Roger Maris’ American League record of 61 homers, but so far has just fallen short. Whether he ties the record or not, however, he’s still sitting on a massive payday.
This offseason, the Yankees offered Judge a seven-year, $213.5 million extension, which would have been among the 20 most lucrative contracts in MLB.
The four-time All-Star’s refusal is one of the bolder business moves by a player in free agency. The decision should pay off — maybe by an extra $100 million — after one of the single greatest contract years since free agency’s inception in 1976.
- Curt Flood’s refusal to be traded in 1969 ultimately paved the way for modern free agency itself — but torpedoed his own successful career.
- In May, ESPN insider Jeff Passan estimated Judge could command at least $300 million, making him one of the 10 highest-paid players in MLB.
- That estimation didn’t factor in the 30-year-old breaking a home run record and making runs for the Triple Crown and AL MVP.
All Rise (Especially Contract Leverage)
Yankees GM Brian Cashman will want to keep Judge in pinstripes, but other teams are chomping at the bit. Judge himself has hinted at being open to leaving the Bronx (he has jokingly spoken about his affection for Red Sox fans).
The fan who caught his 60th blast on Tuesday said he only hoped Judge would remain a Yankee next year.