Home » Sports Take » Will Aaron Judge Be a Yankee Next Season?

Will Aaron Judge Be a Yankee Next Season?

Aaron Judge turned down 7 years/$213 million on top of $21 million in arbitration before the two sides met in the middle for $19 million in arbitration, allowing Judge to become a free agent at the end of the season.

Will Judge be a Yankee next year? There are reasons to say yes and reasons to say no. There are pros and cons. This will become the story of baseball if it isn’t already. Here are three reasons why Judge stays in the Bronx and three reasons why he is in a different uniform in 2023 and beyond.

3 for Judge staying a Yank:

  1. Both sides need each other. The Yankees’ entire lineup revolves around Judge when healthy. His versatility is enormous, playing DH-CF-RF. He is the face of the franchise. #99 makes the Yankees a lot of money in jersey sales and cap sales and ticket sales and more. At the same time, Judge knows the value of being a Yankee. A chance to win every year, huge endorsements, the uniform, possible future in Monument Park with a retired number. It’s different when you win and have incredible success in pinstripes. He knows that.
  2. The Yankees print money. They are currently worth about $6 billion. Next.
  3. Clubhouse factor. Some guys feel comfortable in certain situations. NYC fits him, sure, but Judge is having a blast with teammates in 2022. You can see it every game. Would his relationships impact his next contract decision? It’s possible. If you don’t think so, see: Freddie Freeman.

3 for Judge leaving the Yanks:

  1. Competition. Giants, Dodgers, Mets, Red Sox and Cubs all in the mix? There are plenty of deep pocketed teams that could unload for a face of the franchise type player.
  2. Age/injury/size. With all due respect to Judge, he has missed 156 games the last four seasons. Granted, he played in 148 games in 2021, has been healthy and an
    MVP candidate in 2022 and was healthy in 2017 when he should have won MVP (he won Rookie of the Year). At the end of this season, his sixth in the big leagues, he has basically been healthy for half the time and unhealthy half the time. He is also 6’7” and 280 pounds. He is also 30 years of age. Do you really want to shell out 10 years at $400 million for him? Probably not.
  3. Judge wants something new. While money will be the end all be all, Judge could also want something else. Maybe he wants to get away from NYC and Brian Cashman, who “lowballed” him already and took it public. Maybe the two sides just cannot agree to a deal and feel it is time to move on.

Worst case scenario: Aaron Judge signs with rival Boston and the Yanks have to face him 19 times a season. Judge’s production wouldn’t fall off that much at Fenway Park. Even with the Green Monster, Judge would hit plenty of homers up and over the GM and his opposite field power speaks for itself in any ballpark. If Boston becomes a player, Hal Steinbrenner will have no choice but to pay #99. If they aren’t a factor, the sting would still be there but not as much if he wore a different uniform than Boston.

Prediction: Judge remains a Yankee. 7 years. $325 million. Team options for 2031. Can you imagine him in a different uniform? It’s hard to. The end game is that both sides will realize how much they benefit each other with winning being the ultimate goal. By the same token, this is a business, and Aaron Judge wants to get paid. This will be the #1 story in baseball in the offseason if it isn’t already.

For more Yankee coverage and interviews with pinstripe legends from Mike Lindsley, visit www.pinstripepassion.com.

Mike Lindsley
Follow Mike Lindsley on Twitter @MikeLSports and download his podcast the “ML Sports Platter” on Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Spotify.