The latest contract extension offer to New York Yankees RF Aaron Judge was in the neighborhood of $233 million over eight years, per Jon Heyman. Judge has stated that he won’t hold contract negotiations during the season, so it appears the two sides were unable to get an extension done before Opening Day on Friday vs. the Boston Red Sox.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman confirmed the numbers at $230.5 million over eight years to reporters before the opener:
Brian Cashman said he announced the contract offer to Aaron Judge because this is New York, the numbers would have gotten out regardless, and he would have spent the day fielding “please confirm” text messages from reporters.— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) April 8, 2022
With that, we could see Judge go into free agency in the 2023 offseason. There were reports the Yankees had offered as much as $213 million over seven years. That offer went up and still it seems not good enough for Judge. The slugger is set to turn 30 on April 26 during the season. So technically he’d be during 31 in the first year of the extension. If the contract is eight years, it would run almost up to Judge being 40 years old. That’s a tough contract for the Yankees to hand out, even to the face of the franchise.
It’s not that Judge hasn’t earned his extension. It’s that he hasn’t really earned a lucrative extension. Aside from last season and 2017, when Judge won Rookie of the Year and was runner-up for AL MVP, he hasn’t been entirely consistent. Judge was injured for most of 2018 and 2019. The 2020 shortened pandemic season is hard to, well, judge. He spent too long at college and that ate into some potential years in the majors.
What Judge lacks in terms of production at the plate over his five seasons in the bigs, he makes up for with his glove in RF. Despite not winning a gold glove so far, Judge is one of the better defensive right fielders in baseball. How long will that last, though? So it’s a tough sell for Yankees brass to hand out a massive contract extension to a superstar who is aging and hasn’t shown the best durability in a short time span.