On the eve of the regular season, Aaron Judge was offered a seven-year, $213.5 million contract with the New York Yankees. At the time, the consensus was that it cost a bit more, but it was a fair offer given the hometown discount. However, Judge turned it down, deciding to bet on himself – and it worked out in a huge way.
In late May, during a hot start to Judge’s season (.307/.381/.664 in 156 PA at the time), I wrote that his expectations should now be well north of the Yankees’ preseason offer of $213.5 million, even if he gets got lucky with the line that Judge potentially deserves around $300 million if he hits 60 home runs this year.
The referee got even hotter, hitting .317 / .435 / .705 for 506 PA since May 21, recording the highest WAR since Barry Bonds peaked from 2001 to 2004 and hitting the 60 home run mark with nine games left to tie or break the record American League.
If Judge’s hot start was followed by his best full season in nearly two decades, how northern should his contract expectations be now? Is $300 million expected now?
To find out, we interviewed over a dozen MLB executives, agents and insiders.