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#pounditSaturday, December 3, 2022

Aaron Judge, Yankees reach big agreement

Aaron Judge running

Aug 23, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (99) runs to first base after hitting a single against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees may lose Aaron Judge when he becomes a free agent next winter, but the two sides were able to come to an important agreement on Friday.

Judge and the Yankees have settled on a contract for the 2022 season, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post. The development is a positive one since it means the two sides will not need to go to arbitration to determine how much Judge will be paid.

MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that Judge will receive a $19 million salary with a $250,000 bonus if he is named American League MVP and another $250,000 if he wins World Series MVP.

Arbitration proceedings usually take place during the offseason, but the lockout changed that timeline. That created a situation where there could have been some serious midseason tension between the Yankees and their star player if the two sides could not reach an agreement.

Judge, 30, is having a huge year. He entered Friday hitting .304 with 27 home runs, 53 RBI and a 1.037 OPS. He is on an AL MVP path, and winning that award would certainly strengthen his position in free agency.

At least one rival team may already be recruiting Judge, who turned down a seven-year, $213.5 million extension offer from the Yankees prior to the season.

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