Aaron Judge and Yankees in agreement on massive nine-year deal




Yankees star Aaron Judge
Yankees star Aaron Judge  

Aaron Judge is staying put, much to the delight of Yankees fans everywhere.

The Yankees and Judge have agreed to a nine-year deal worth $360 million, per multiple reports. The deal is pending a physical.

The man who bet on himself will be earning $40 million a year, making him the highest-paid MLB position player ever in terms of average annual value.

Though Judge was able to test the market, the prevailing thought was that the Yankees would pay whatever it took to keep him in the Bronx.

Per Jeff Passan of ESPN, Judge flew to the Winter Meetings "at the last minute" to decide between the Yankees, San Francisco Giants, and San Diego Padres, at which point the Yanks raised their offer to $360 million.

Before agreeing to terms with the Yankees, Judge seriously considered the Giants, visiting the team in San Francisco as president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi put on a full-court press to lure Judge away from the Bronx. 

On Tuesday night at the Winter Meetings, there were rumblings that Judge had either agreed to sign with the Giants or was close to agreeing to sign there. But the Yankees prevailed in the end, retaining their homegrown star.

The four-time All-Star famously bet on himself heading into the 2022 season, turning down a seven-year, $213.5 million extension offer from the Yanks just before Opening Day. And it paid off better than Judge could have even imagined, as he won the AL MVP award and slugged an American League record 62 home runs, passing Roger Maris' iconic mark of 61 big flies in 1961.

Selected by the Yankees in the first round of the 2013 MLB Draft, Judge quickly proved himself, bursting onto the scene with a then-rookie record 52 home runs in 2017, finishing as AL Rookie of the Year and runner-up for AL MVP.

Judge has consistently performed as a pro, despite dealing with a handful of injuries during his career. There's no denying his talent and the steady presence he brings to the Yankees' clubhouse, as he's earned three Silver Sluggers while slashing .284/.394/.583 with 220 homers and 497 RBI over his seven seasons in the majors.

Earlier in the offseason, owner Hal Steinbrenner said the Bombers had "plenty" of ability to sign Judge and others - but this was their first major addition ahead of the 2023 season.

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