Yankees, Aaron Judge fail to secure contract extension ahead of season

3:23 p.m.: Jon Heyman of the New York Post hears from multiple sources that Judge had secured a nine to ten year bid at an average annual value of $36 million. Heyman warns that someone close to the judge has challenged those numbers. Max Scherzer ($43.333M AAV over three years with the Mets) is the only player in history with an AAV north of $36M Mike TroutThe $36 million annual salary is the highest for a positional player.

Over a 10-year period, a $36 million AAV would equate to Trout’s $360 million guarantee. Trout’s Deal has the largest today’s value in MLB history, though Mookie Betts (which received $365 million in total guarantees, but with forbearances that reduced its present value) surpassed that mark in raw dollars. The Yankees never appeared to take up such an offer, especially since a deal that bought out nine free-agent seasons would see Judge through his 39-year campaign. Heyman adds that the Yankees were willing to include one or more opt-outs for the star outfielder.

10:17 am: Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters there will be no extension with Aaron Richter today, hours before the self-imposed deadline for the racquet’s opening day. In a rare revelation Cashman detailed that the Yankees were offering a $213.5 million seven-year renewal beginning in 2023, for an average annual value of $30.5 million.

This AAV would have ranked 17th in baseball history. Notably, the Yankees were willing to extend Judge to age 37, just like recent contracts Corey Seeger, Freddie Freeman, Marcus seedand Francisco Lindordespite the judge’s injury history.

Cashman sounds like he would like to avoid an arbitration hearing for the judge’s salary in 2022 Lindsey Adler of The Athletic believes this would happen in June. In addition, the two sides will engage post-season. Of the 24 eligible players Currently heading to a midseason hearing to determine her 2022 salary, Judge’s gap with the Yankees of $5 million ($17 million vs. $22 million) is the widest.

Cashman’s comments come less than two hours before the Yankees open their season against the Red Sox, Richter’s deadline for a contract extension as he enters his wandering year.

Judge has missed significant portions of three of the last five seasons through injury. Seager, at least, had a notable injury history of his own, but his deal was finalized ahead of his open-market season at the age of 28. Judge will play in 2023 at the age of 31. The offer to sign Judge until age 37 is a significant gesture by the Yankees. The AAV, while perhaps not elite, is not unreasonably light and could be seen as a compromise for the club, including a seventh year.

If Judge reaches the open market, he could be included in a 2022-23 free agent class strong again at the shortstop position. The outfield market isn’t expected to be too impressive beyond Judge, including other names Joey Gallo, Mitch Haniger, Brandon Nimmoand Kike Hernandez.

The judge is hired as the second brawler in the Yankees’ opening day lineup in tonight’s game vs Nathan Eovaldi and the Red Sox, which begins at 12:05 p.m. Central Time.

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