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Aaron Judge Agrees to Record-Setting Contract With Yankees

Aaron Judge agreed to a record-setting contract with the Yankees on Wednesday at the Winter Meetings, agreeing to spend the rest of his career in pinstripes.
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SAN DIEGO — When the Yankees lost to the Red Sox in the American League Wild Card Game in October of 2021, Aaron Judge made his intentions clear as he prepared to enter the final year of his contract with New York.

"I want to be a Yankee for life,” Judge said. "I want to wear these pinstripes for the rest of my career, represent this great organization and bring a championship back to the city.”

One year later, after an unforgettable and historic performance—both between the lines and at the negotiation table—Judge stayed true to those words, ensuring that his journey to Monument Park (and possibly Cooperstown) will feature one uniform.

Judge re-signed with New York in free agency early Wednesday morning, agreeing to a nine-year, $360 million contract. Jon Morosi of MLB Network was first to report that Judge is sticking around in the wee hours of the morning at the Winter Meetings in San Diego. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic quickly followed with confirmation of the outfielder's record-setting contract.

With a salary of $40 million per year, Judge now holds the record in average annual value for a position player in baseball history. It's a significant increase ($146.5 million, to be exact) from the $213.5 million extension offer that Judge turned down before Opening Day. 

That was before Judge captured the attention of the baseball world, breaking Roger Maris' record with 62 home runs. It was before Judge won the first Most Valuable Player Award of his career, carrying the Yankees to a 99-win season and their first division title since 2019. 

For Judge, betting on himself was the best decision he could have ever made. For the Yankees, there were some tense moments along the way, including some "uncomfortable" uncertainty during the Winter Meetings. Judge was recruited by the San Francisco Giants, the club Judge rooted for as a kid growing up in Linden, California. Even the Padres made a push for Judge, trying to snag the superstar slugger during his visit to San Diego, a trip shrouded in secrecy.

Ultimately, when the Yankees stepped up in their offer, Judge stayed loyal. He will be a Yankee through his age-39 season and as many expected, will likely be named captain as part of the agreement, per Rosenthal

The Yankees can now transition their focus back to strengthening the rest of their roster. They kept Judge in pinstripes—the first item on their offseason to-do list with the alternative presenting devastating repercussions—but there's more work to be done this winter in order for No. 99 to have a chance to lead New York to championship No. 28.


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