New York Yankees fans breathed a sigh of relief when their club avoid arbitration with 2022 AL MVP contender Aaron Judge on Friday by signing him to a $19 million contract. Even though he's now officially signed for the 2022 MLB season, tension could re-ignite when he becomes a free agent at the end of the year.
The Yankees will have to fend off many competitors who'll be pursuing a superstar like Judge. One team that the NY Post's Jon Heyman lists as being the biggest threat to poach No. 99 is the Chicago Cubs.
Aaron Judge Free Agency
After saying that a baseball insider doesn't see Judge leaving the Yankees, Heyman added that the Cubs "expected to finally spend" next offseason by targeting the talented slugger. Approximately $43 million will be coming off of Chicago's payroll at the end of the season, according to Spotrac, which should be more than enough money to entice Judge.
Judge's new contract is based on last season's performance, though he'll likely see a major pay raise after how this season has gone. The 30-year-old currently leads the Majors when it comes to home runs (27), runs scored (58) and total bases (171). He's also slashing .304/.379/.658.
Assuming he plays as many games as he did in 2021 (148), Judge is on pace for 59 HRs and 115 RBIs. If he can come close to those stats while winning his first-ever AL MVP trophy, the Linden, CA native will surely be one of the highest-paid players in baseball.
Reports back in April suggested that he was looking for a deal in the neighborhood of 10 years and $360 million, so it'll be interesting to see how his current campaign has changed that.
The Yankees haven't been shy to throw out massive contracts in the past and they'll do what they can to keep Judge in the Big Apple. Teams willing to spend, like the Cubs, will make things challenging, but it'll be tough to outmuscle the Yankees if they're certain that Judge's talents match his asking price.
Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Devon Platana also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username PepeSilvia0. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.