Aaron Judge wants nine years, the onus on the Yankees to upgrade their offer

Aaron Judge is the hottest free agent in MLB

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The team that can offer Aaron Judge a nine-year deal will have the power hitter starting from the 2023 season, predicts The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Judge turns 31 in April and the Yankees might have to decide if they are comfortable giving their star outfielder a deal that long if they want to keep him.

Insiders with knowledge of sources involved in the talks say that the way Aaron Judge’s free agent market is going, “it appears increasingly likely” the winning bid will be for nine guaranteed years. A nine-year contract would keep him playing for a team him until he turns 39. ESPN says that the Yankees gave Judge an eight-year deal worth around $300 million. Their eagerness to keep Judge will be tested now and it is up to them if they are going to add another year to the offer.

Aaron Judge, on the other hand, might have to decide if he wants to stay with the Yankees for one more guaranteed year or leave for another team. No matter how the end of the talk, Judge will get a lot more than the Yankees‘ initial seven-year, $213.5 million extension offer at the end of spring training, which was an average of $30.5 million per season. After hitting 62 home runs in one season, Judge set an American League record. He could get two more years and a salary that is higher than Mike Trout’s record of $35.5 million for position players.

When teams want to sign top free agents, they often add an extra year to their offer. Sources in the major leagues say that the Rangers agreed to pay pitcher Jacob deGrom $185 million over five years. This was more than the Mets’ offer of $120 million over three years.

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Max Scherzer’s $43.3 million average annual value is the highest in the history of the major leagues. Jacob deGrom’s average annual value of $37 million is the second highest. At that average, a nine-year deal with Aaron Judge would be worth $333 million. However, Judge might be willing to take a lower AAV, like Bryce Harper and Mookie Betts did in their most recent deals.

Even if Aaron Judge made $36 million a year, he would beat Trout’s average annual salary for position players. At that average, a nine-year deal would be the same as the free-agent deal that Gerrit Cole signed with the Yankees three years ago.

People know that the Giants are interested in Aaron Judge because they had him over for a visit right before Thanksgiving. The Dodgers will only sign Judge to a short-term, high-paying deal. Sources say that Judge is also wanted by other clubs.

There are a lot of risks when you promise a player turning 31 nine more seasons. Even though Aaron Judge has put doubts about his durability to rest in recent years, can he stay on the field and keep playing well for the rest of his 30s?

The Yankees have already shown that they are willing to pay more than $300 million for Aaron Judge, so why would they risk losing their leader and the face of the team for one more year? If a ninth season is the only way to keep Judge and owner Hal Steinbrenner really wanting to keep him, fans can bet that New York will take that step.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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