Aaron Judge agrees to stay in the Bronx for $360M, nine years

Yankees fans are cheering Aaron Judge during a game.

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The Yankees have their mission Aaron Judge accomplished on Wednesday. Multiple reports confirmed that Aaron Judge agreed to sign a nine-year, $360 million deal to return to the Bronx. The official signing of the deal, which is a formality after mandatory physical tests, will give the slugger almost $150 million more than what the team had offered him in the spring.

Aaron Judge’s talks with the Yankees and the Giants are being handled by Page Odle of PSI Sports Management.

With his new $360 million deal with the Yankees, Aaron Judge will make an average of $40 million per season for the next nine years. It’s the highest deal the Yankees have ever made, and a position player has never made more money than this contract.

Aaron Judge beat Bryce Harper’s $330 million record. The contract’s average annual value of $40 million sets a new record for position players and is second only to the $43.333 million a year of Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, who are both on shorter-term deals.

Aaron Judge’s decision to stay in New York ends a weeks-long drama in which he mostly focused on the Yankees and Giants, his two most serious suitors, ever since he turned down a qualifying offer from the Yankees. Yesterday, it was said that the Giants made a similar offer, and Morosi tweeted that Judge turned down higher offers because he chose to stay with the Yankees.

The Yankees’ historic deal with Aaron Judge for nine years and $360 million could keep him in New York until 2031. It lets him be a Yankee for the rest of his life. If Judge plays out the rest of his contract, he will have spent 16 seasons with the Bronx Bombers. At the end of it, he’ll be 39 years old and have been a Yankee since 2013, when he was drafted as a 21-year-old. That would make Judge one of the Yankees with the most years with the team. Derek Jeter has played the most seasons, with 20. Mariano Rivera is next with 19, and Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra are tied for third with 18 seasons each.

Aaron Judge flirted with the San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres, but he decided to stay with the Yankees. The Giants play about 100 miles from where Judge grew up in California, and the Padres have made it clear that they are willing to make big moves this winter. The Padres reportedly made a late offer of $400 million to get Judge, but it didn’t work.

Losing Aaron Judge, who just had a magical season with 62 home runs and turned down an extension offer, would have been a big blow to the Yankees’ on-field pursuit of their first World Series since 2009 and to the team’s image of being the best. In 2022, he had a batting average of .311 and an on-base percentage of .425, which was the best in the MLB. His park-adjusted OPS+ of 211, which means he was 111% better than the average hitter in the league, was the best for a full season by a qualified hitter since Barry Bonds.

Aaron Judge also became the 10th player ever to hit more than 50 home runs in more than one season. He did this in his Rookie of the Year-winning, name-making 2017 season when he hit more than 50 home runs.

The Yankees’ general manager, Cashman, said on the first day of the season that Aaron Judge had turned down a seven-year deal worth $30.5 million per year. Judge then hit 62 home runs, more than Babe Ruth in 1927, surpassing Roger Maris’ 1961 AL record, and more than any other batter in the history of the American League.

Aaron Judge’s offensive skills are so impressive that it’s easy to forget about his defensive skills, but that would be underestimating his overall value. Judge’s height and weight of 6’7″ and 282 pounds might make you think he’s a slow hitter who’s bad with the glove, but that’s not true at all. As Judge kept doing well after the All-Star break, he almost saved the Yankees from one of the worst collapses in baseball history. As the Yankees’ big lead in the American League East came close to disappearing, Judge kept the offense going with what seemed like heroic plays every day. He got all of the runs in a series against the Toronto Blue Jays.

What do you think about this huge deal for Aaron Judge? Leave your comment below.

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