Yankees: Brian Cashman must give Aaron Judge king’s ransom

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 11: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees stands in the dugout before the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on April 11, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 11: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees stands in the dugout before the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on April 11, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Reports in the offseason claimed that Aaron Judge turned down a seven-year, $213 million contract extension from the New York Yankees. For those who haven’t really been paying attention, that was an outstanding decision by Judge as he is having a career season in 2022.

Judge currently is in line to receive the American League’s triple crown (league’s best batting average, most RBI, and most home runs) and he is knocking at the door to tie and potentially break the AL’s and franchise’s single season home run record established by Roger Maris.

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has no choice but to give Aaron Judge a massive contract

I can’t accurately predict what Aaron Judge’s contract will be, but I can guess it will be somewhere in the seven- to nine-year range, with a total value between $280 and $350 million. When you sign a player to a contract like that, you fully expect that the back end of that deal will not be very pleasing, much like the contract the New York Yankees gave pitcher Gerrit Cole.

Cashman is in an extremely tough spot because he really doesn’t have options. If he lets Judge walk after one of the most impressive seasons at the plate in the modern era, Yankee Nation will run him out of town. If he signs Judge to the aforementioned monster contract, he is all but guaranteeing some extremely rough seasons in the not-so-distant future for the Yanks.

Per Spotrac, Cole is set to earn $36 million annually until 2028. Committing north of $70 million per year to superstars who are quickly passing their prime spells disaster in the future. In fact, one might argue that Cole isn’t even giving them the “prime” that they are paying for.

Can Judge possibly keep this up?

Quick answer? Yes, of course he can. Is it likely? You decide. His rookie season was statistically similar to this season, although with slightly shrunken numbers in every category. The problem is that in between his rookie season and this season were four seasons of very good numbers … but nothing close to this year.

Was Aaron Judge sending a message with a shirt?. dark. Next

In the four years leading up to this year, Judge’s OPS+ ranged from 143-150. This year, he currently owns a 212. The fact of the matter is that the Judge we have seen the four years previous to this year is not a $35 million per year player. In order for this contract to work out for the Yankees, or whichever team signs him, they will need him to recreate some of his 2022 magic in future seasons.