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#pounditSaturday, November 26, 2022

Yankees manager Aaron Boone reacts to Aaron Judge news

Aaron Boone smiling

Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA Today Sports

Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees settled on a contract Friday for the 2022 season, and it’s safe to say that manager Aaron Boone is relieved.

Judge will reportedly receive $19 million from the Yankees, with the potential for bonuses of $250,000 if he is named American League MVP and wins World Series MVP.

With the settlement, Judge and the Yankees avoided their arbitration hearing that was scheduled for Friday. Boone spoke to reporters prior to Friday’s game against the Houston Astros about his reaction to hearing the news.

“Getting that news today, I was excited about it,” Boone said. “Excited that that’s behind us and [to] leave that portion of the show alone.”

Judge is in his final season under team control before becoming a free agent. He was set to go to arbitration on Friday to determine his 2022 salary after he and the Yankees could not reach an agreement prior to the season. Judge sought $21 million for 2022, while the Yankees countered at $17 million. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Judge initially did not want to settle at $19 million and instead sought to win his arbitration case to receive the $21 million. He finally changed his mind.

Arbitration cases are typically settled during the offseason, but some hearings have been delayed into the season due to the lockout over the offseason. Judge has been paid a prorated amount this season based off the Yankees’ $17 million figure submitted in arbitration, according to Olney.

The $19 million that the Yankees will pay Judge for this season is a bargain based on his performance so far. The 30-year-old is playing like an AL MVP candidate, entering Friday hitting .304 with 27 home runs, 53 RBI and a 1.037 OPS. He’s also scored 58 runs, which leads all of MLB.

While Judge and the Yankees were reportedly far apart on a potential contract extension earlier this season, perhaps both sides’ willingness to settle before Friday’s hearing is a good sign that they’ll be able to work out a long-term deal at some point.

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