Well over two months into the 2022 MLB season, Aaron Judge finally knows how much money he’ll make this year. The New York Yankees and their star outfielder have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $19 million base salary, according to multiple reports.
Judge had been scheduled for an arbitration hearing Friday to determine his 2022 salary. Before the settlement was agreed upon, the Yankees were seeking to pay Judge $17 million. Judge asked for $21 million in the final year of his contract.
A pair of incentives could ultimately make the contract worth $19.5 million. Judge can make $250,000 for winning the AL MVP award and an additional $250,000 for being named the World Series MVP, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.
Those milestones appear to be quite realistic, considering how Judge and the Yankees have played through the first 70 games of the season. New York has MLB’s best record and is on pace for the most wins in a single season. Judge is the AL MVP favorite, leading the majors with 27 home runs and 171 total bases.
In a surprising development, Aaron Judge and the Yankees agreed to a $19 million deal (plus incentives) for 2022 to avoid arbitration, per source. @JonHeyman was first to report a deal had been made.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) June 24, 2022
Since the start of last season, Aaron Judge now has 11 hits in the 8th inning or later that gave his team a lead.
That's the most in MLB, and 3 more than any other player.
— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) June 24, 2022
Judge also leads the Yankees in batting average (.304), one-base percentage (.379), slugging percentage (.658) and RBI (53).
Last season was Judge’s second-best since he became a full-time MLB player in 2017. Judge hit 39 home runs with a .916 OPS and finished fourth in the AL MVP voting. As a rookie, Judge was the AL MVP runner-up with 52 home runs and a 1.049 OPS.
Injuries forced Judge to miss at least 30% of the Yankees’ games in every season from 2018-2020. In the pandemic shortened, 60-game 2020 campaign, Judge was limited to 28 contests and a career-low .891 OPS.
Just prior to Opening Day, Judge turned down a seven-year, $213.5 million extension. If he remains healthy, the 30-year-old is expected to command a much more lucrative offer in free agency.
It’s possible that the Yankees and Judge could come to an agreement on a long-term contract during the season.