Aaron Judge set an Opening Day deadline for a contract extension with the Yankees.
Even with Thursday’s first game against the Red Sox postponed until Friday (12:05 p.m. ET), it doesn’t appear the sides will reach an agreement in time.
For a team that seems perpetually in win-now mode, the Yankees are playing a dangerous game not locking up the face of the franchise.
- If the 29-year-old doesn’t sign a long-term deal, he’ll head to midseason arbitration to determine a one-year contract.
- Judge filed for $21M, while the Yankees countered with $17M, per MLB.com.
- He received a $1.8M signing bonus as the No. 32 pick in 2013 and since signed six consecutive one-year deals, including one for $10.2M in 2021.
- He’s a three-time All-Star who finished fourth in 2021 AL MVP voting after slashing .287/.373/.544 with 39 HRs and 98 RBI.
Judge likely wants a six- or seven-year extension north of $200M, which would pass Derek Jeter’s 10-year, $189M deal from 2001 as the Bronx Bombers’ largest.
The Yankees are never too shy to spend big: They have the third-highest payroll ($240.3M), with ace Gerrit Cole earning $36M per season, MLB’s second-highest AAV (Max Scherzer, $43.3M).
In the midst of a 12-year title drought, New York should make Judge as comfortable as possible — as soon as possible.