After 24 hours of rampant speculation that he was heading to the National League, the New York Yankees re-signed 2022 American League MVP Aaron Judge to a nine-year, $360 million deal on Wednesday. The 30-year-old outfielder fielded offers from the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres (according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan) that were in excess of the Yankees eight-year, $300 million offer heading into baseball’s Winter Meetings.
New York stepped up after a report from MLB’s Jon Heyman that the Northern California native was signing with the Giants and after the Padres entered the fray late with a big offer, as managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner added an extra year and made Judge the highest-paid non-pitcher in Major League Baseball at $40 million per season.
Judge bet on himself in rejecting a seven-year, $213 million offer from New York before the season and preceded to break the AL record with 62 home runs and nearly winning the Triple Crown with a .311 average and 131 RBIs.
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With the deal consummated, it is likely that Judge will be named the first Yankee captain since Derek Jeter before next season, but it is likely not to be the last of the moves made by GM Brian Cashman over the next few weeks. New York is rumored to be amongst a number of clubs pursuing free agent lefty starter Carlos Rodon to bolster their rotation, as well as bringing back outfielder Andrew Benintendi, adding former New York Met Michael Conforto, or trading for Pittsburgh’s Bryan Reynolds.
Another repercussion of the Judge deal could be the Yankees shedding salary in other areas, moving out shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa ($6 million), third baseman Josh Donaldson ($21 million), outfielder Aaron Hicks ($10.5 million), and/or second baseman Gleyber Torres (slated to make close to $10 million in arbitration) in favor of young, inexpensive prospects Oswaldo Cabrera, Oswald Peraza, and Anthony Volpe.