11:54 a.m.: The judge and the Yankees have agreed to a $19 million bond, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports (Twitter connections). This is the exact midpoint between the deposit figures, although the agreement contains possible additional incentives. The judge would earn an additional $250,000 each if he wins the AL MVP and World Series MVP awards this season.
11:35 a.m.: The Yankees and Judge Aaron agreed to a contract to avoid arbitration, reports Jon Heyman of the New York Post (Twitter link). They were due to go through a hearing this afternoon, but the last-minute settlement sidesteps that necessity.
Judge and the Yankees were expected to continue the process with the biggest gap in numbers rankings among any player-team pairing this season. The judge’s camp had asked for a salary of $21 million, while the Yankees countered at $17 million. The MLB umpiring system does not allow umpires to land on a midpoint; had they gone to a hearing, the arbitrators would have had to set the judge’s salary at $17 million or $21 million. By avoiding the process, the parties can find mutually acceptable common ground. This avoids any potential acrimony arising in an adversarial hearing for the face of the franchise.
It was the final season of officiating eligibility for Judge, who is months away from his first trip to the open market. He turned down a seven-year, $213.5 million extension offer during spring training. Betting on himself seems to pay off big, as the slugger will arguably be the best talent available.
Judge topped MLBTR’s initial power rating for the upcoming class a month ago, and he’s crushed a clip of .288/.369/.606 since that time. He comes into play Friday owning an overall line of .302/.379/.663, and his 27 homers are six ahead of anyone else in the game. He is set to become a free agent ahead of his campaign at the age of 31 and appears to be on track for an eight-plus-year deal if he continues to perform at an elite level for the past three months. of the season.
As most probably know by now, Judge’s incredible production in 2022 would not have been admissible in his arbitration case. The arbitration process usually takes place during the offseason, with salaries being decided before opening day. Last winter’s lockout froze league business for more than three months, leaving insufficient time for players, teams and referees themselves to settle all cases during spring training . Hearings therefore dragged into the season, but MLB and the Players Association agreed that all cases should be based on the player’s work before 2022.
Judge, of course, had a solid career record even before this season’s MVP-caliber first half. He entered the year as a career .276/.386/.554 hitter, racking up a trio of All-Star appearances and two Silver Slugger awards in the process. The Fresno State product hit .287 / .373 / .544 with 39 homers and 98 runs batted last season, a platforming performance that set him up for a hefty raise from his $10.175 million salary from 2021.
The resolution of the judge’s case officially closes the books on the 2021-22 arbitration class. 31 players had situations that persisted into the season, although the majority reached in-season deals or multi-year contract extensions. Of the 13 players who have had hearings this season, four have won their case, according to the Associated Press.