Contract years are always a gamble. And in case you haven’t been paying attention, there is no safer bet right now than MLBbro Aaron Judge. Back in April the New York Yankees offered the slugger a seven-year deal in the range of $30 million annually. The team fell short on the years and salary that Judge was asking for and he decided to play out the final year on his contract and allow himself to go into free agency following this season. At the time, this seemed like a big risk for Judge who had injuries in the past and is 30 years of age. But now that he’s compiled an historic season for the ages and will likely be named MVP, his market value has skyrocketed and put the Yankees in an even tougher position.
The Yankees have no chance at signing Judge for anywhere close to that deal now. The MLBbro currently sits at 60 home runs, which is twenty more than National League leader Kyle Schwarber. This lead would be the biggest home run lead in MLB since 1928. Judge doesn’t play favorites. The gentle giant has blessed the hometown crowds and various ballparks around the country with his power display, hitting 30 Bro bombs at home and 30 on the road.
Not only is Judge hitting for power, but he is also hitting for average and driving in runs at an elite level. In fact, not only is Judge set to surpass Roger Maris for the AL home run record, but he is on pace to lead the American League in several offensive categories. Currently Judge is atop the AL in Batting Average, RBI, Runs, XBH, Walks, OBP, SLG and OPS. Judge has done this while playing majority of his games in center field this year, further proving his defensive versatility. He may not win a Gold Glove, but he is more than capable of holding down any outfield position.
The Yankees and Brian Cashman will have to bring a very lucrative contract before Judge now. The MLBbro will be the most sought-after free agent this winter and rightfully so. Judge has expressed his interest in staying in the Bronx, but at 30 years old he must ensure that he takes a deal that fully captures his worth not only on the field but off the field. Whoever signs Judge is not only getting the best hitter in baseball, but one of the most recognizable athletes in the game. A player baseball can’t afford to be positioned in any other city. With the Yankees being the most recognizable team in the league, they’d be smart to award Judge a contract he desires.