Aaron Judge settles with New York Yankees on $19M deal plus incentives to avoid arbitration


Slugger Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees agreed to a one-year, $19 million contract, avoiding an arbitration hearing scheduled for Friday, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Judge can make an additional $250,000 by winning an MVP award and $250,000 for World Series MVP, sources confirmed.

Judge, 30, is in the middle of perhaps his best season, batting .304 with 27 homers and 53 RBIs in 68 games for the major league-leading Yankees. He hit a game-winning RBI single in New York’s 7-6 victory over Houston on Thursday night.

Judge and the Yankees were scheduled for an arbitration hearing. No statistics or evidence from after March 1 were admissible other than contract and salary comparisons, timing set when Major League Baseball and the players’ association agreed to the deal that ended the lockout.

On the eve of this season, Judge turned down a $213.5 million contract offer from the Yankees, choosing instead to leave open the possibility that he could become a free agent this fall. Sources told ESPN’s Buster Olney the Yankees offered to settle at the midpoint — $19 million. But Judge declined, and instead aimed for an arbitration victory.

Judge has been paid at a prorated salary based on the Yankees’ $17 million offer.

This year Judge is on pace to become the first player in more than two decades to reach 60 homers. He has an OPS of over 1.000 this year while being the likely front-runner for the AL MVP.

When Judge has been on the field, he has been one of the majors’ best players. In his first full season in 2017, he played 155 games, clubbed 52 homers, scored 128 runs, won the AL Rookie of the Year and finished second to the Astros’ Jose Altuve in the AL MVP voting.

But Judge missed 142 games from 2018 to 2020 with a range of injuries. Playing 148 games in 2021, Judge returned to preeminence, finishing fourth in the MVP voting.

Judge’s settlement with the Yankees was first reported by the New York Post.

Information from ESPN’s Buster Olney and The Associated Press was used in this report.


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