Aaron Judge is cashing in on the wager he positioned on himself final spring.
Judge, a celebrity outfielder who has spent his whole career with the Yankees, turned down an enormous contract extension earlier than the 2022 season started, proceeded to set an American League single-season document with 62 dwelling runs, gained the league’s Most Valuable Player Award and on Wednesday was rewarded with a nine-year, $360 million contract, which would be the largest deal ever signed by a free agent.
The contract, which was first reported by MLB Network, is pending a bodily, however the particulars had been confirmed by two folks acquainted with the negotiations who spoke on the situation of anonymity as they weren’t licensed to focus on them publicly.
The Yankees’ unique provide earlier than the 2022 season was for seven years and $213.5 million, and so Judge’s wager paid off to the tune of two additional years and $146.5 million.
Judge’s new contract, by way of whole worth, will path solely the extensions signed by Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels (12 years, $426.5 million) and Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers (12 years, $365 million). His common annual worth of $40 million would be the highest ever given to a position participant, and can path solely Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, the co-aces of the Mets, who each common $43.3 million a season.
In Judge, 30, the Yankees retain a participant they chose within the first spherical of the 2013 draft and developed right into a wildly fashionable star. He was the A.L.’s rookie of the year when he hit 52 dwelling runs in 2017, has been named to 4 All-Star groups and hit a brand new stage in 2022 by breaking Roger Maris’s vaunted A.L. dwelling run mark — a document given additional weight as a result of everybody with extra within the National League has been linked to performance-enhancing medication. He additionally put up a major-league-leading 10.6 wins above substitute, primarily based on Baseball Reference’s method.
Judge’s pursuit of Maris captivated a lot of the baseball world, with tv networks reducing into different occasions to present his at-bats and the Maris household brazenly rooting for him. Roger Maris Jr. traveled to video games to be there when it occurred.
But Judge’s 2022 season was not outlined solely by his dwelling runs. He additionally batted a career-high .311, difficult for the triple crown till the season’s ultimate days; led the majors in runs scored (133); and tied Pete Alonso of the Mets for the foremost league lead in runs batted in (131). He additionally led the majors in on-base share (.425), slugging share (.686) and whole bases (391).
He did all that whereas stealing 16 bases and taking part in above-average protection in each proper area (54 begins) and heart area (74 begins).
There had been hypothesis that Judge is perhaps keen to depart the Yankees to be part of the San Francisco Giants, a crew he grew up rooting for, however he as an alternative determined to commit to the Yankees by what could be his age-39 season.
Tyler Kepner and Scott Miller contributed reporting.