Will Aaron Judge Get His $300 Million Deal?

© Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Instead of accepting a long-term extension with the Yankees before the season, Aaron Judge He placed a huge bet on himself. A seven-year deal worth $213.5 million starting at age 31 is no small show for any player, and it was more than what – at least ZiPS – expected at the time. But Judge clearly felt that his chances of doing better outweighed the risks involved in playing in his final year of team control. Well, far from finding he can throw 102mph and pairing it with an evil slider, it’s hard to imagine a better season in terms of increasing the value of his next contract than his next in 2022. Best player in the league – not because of what Shuhei Ohtani It wasn’t magical, but because the Yankees player has put together one of the rare offensive seasons in MLB history that can match such an extreme level of two-way excellence. So, how far can a judge’s contract realistically go off season?

First of all, let me stress that some seem to underestimate the judge’s season. In some quarters of AL MVP’s grueling discussions on social media, you’ll see that it’s just described as a typically big offensive season and not one that belongs in the history books besides those in the Barry Bonds. According to our estimates, there have only been 55 seasons for position players in history in which they achieved a double-digit war, and all of those were not primarily driven by hitting, but rather by field play (Cal Ripken Jr.), a healthy dose of basic transcendent jogging (Ricky Henderson), or incredibly weak league (Fred Dunlap). The vast majority of years like this are put in place by the Hall of Famers, so the Judge is in a shaky state. There is no doubt that he is having a special season.

The problem is that the judge is unlikely to be paid outright for his 2022 season, just the heightened expectations generated by such a high-level performance. Even if the Yankees were inclined to give a franchise player a bonus for the best-played season in their uniform but the cost was controlled, it is unlikely that any other team would have been so generous in rewarding the performance they did not benefit from. When trying to gauge what a judge is likely to get, some factors work against him, factors he has little control over. The biggest is that the first year of his new contract will again drop into his 31-year-old season, which means that no matter how high your baseline expectations are from Judge, he is expected to decline significantly throughout the decade and relatively quickly. Not coincidentally, with almost the only exception of joy photoBig contracts that work from a teams perspective are the ones that start at a very young age.

Also working against Judge is his stand and the less important issue in coordinating the larger baseball game. Judge has more defensive value than most kickers as he’s played better in midfield than anyone his size has any right on, but I can’t imagine that being a serious long-term proposition as he gets older. What’s more, the 12-team playing field slightly underestimates the winning margin, and while that likely won’t have a huge direct impact on the Judge’s deal, anything that changes the front desks’ willingness to push in all the chips.

Back in June, I looked at how the judge worked He was betting on himself. It offered a range of scenarios regarding his performance, with the most optimistic simply assuming that his attacking pace at the start of the season would continue. Even this turned out to be a bearish prediction. The judge had an OPS of 1.029 at the time but has been at 1.168 since then. (By the way, for those wondering, ZiPS has a Triple Crown probability of 29% this morning.) Running Judge’s projection in ZiPS right now gives him his most vibrant future:

ZiPS Show – Aaron Judge

year BA OBP SLG AB s h 2B 3 b HR RBI BB So SB OPS + Dr war
2023 .295 .402 .633 532 114 157 24 0 52 108 86 168 3 178 8 7.9
2024 .291 .397 .613 512 106 149 24 0 47 100 81 159 3 171 8 7.1
2025 .285 .388 .581 492 97 140 23 0 41 90 74 148 3 161 7 6.1
2026 .278 .377 .548 467 86 130 21 0 35 78 66 134 2 149 7 5.0
2027 .272 .366 .506 441 75 120 19 0 28 67 57 118 2 136 6 3.8
2028 .266 .352 .472 413 65 110 16 0 23 57 47 102 2 123 5 2.8
2029 .257 .336 .435 382 55 98 14 0 18 47 39 85 2 109 4 1.8
2030 .250 .325 .392 352 46 88 11 0 13 38 32 71 1 96 3 0.9
2031 .242 .308 .359 273 33 66 8 0 8 26 21 50 1 82 1 0.1
2032 .236 .294 .333 165 18 39 4 0 4 14 11 27 1 72 0 -0.3

ZiPS thinks eight years and somewhere in the $270 million to $290 million range seems appropriate. It’s a much better drop than Miguel Cabrera or Albert Pujols received when they signed their huge long-term deals, so the judge is doing it for him. But if we highlight Judge and make him five years younger than that, you can see the effects of age:

Drop ZiPS – Aaron Judge (born 1997)

year BA OBP SLG AB s h 2B 3 b HR RBI BB So SB OPS + Dr war
2023 .303 .414 .651 558 125 169 26 0 56 116 96 170 4 185 8 8.9
2024 .299 .416 .651 542 123 162 26 0 55 113 98 171 4 186 8 8.7
2025 .296 .413 .638 531 118 157 26 0 52 108 97 171 3 182 8 8.2
2026 .295 .413 .628 516 114 152 25 0 49 104 95 163 3 180 7 7.8
2027 .291 .410 .621 501 109 146 24 0 47 99 91 154 3 177 7 7.4
2028 .287 .405 .601 484 102 139 23 0 43 92 87 148 3 171 7 6.7
2029 .282 .398 .573 464 94 131 21 0 38 83 80 137 3 162 6 5.9
2030 .279 .389 .546 445 85 124 20 0 33 75 72 125 3 152 6 5.0
2031 .272 .378 .511 423 75 115 17 0 28 66 64 113 2 141 5 4.0
2032 .264 .364 .474 397 65 105 14 0 23 55 55 97 2 127 4 3.0

This is a half a billion dollar player! There is a reason the MLBPA must win an epic death match against the owners to reduce the number of years of service required to gain access to free agency. While I don’t know exactly how other teams and their internal systems are evaluating the Judge, I’m sure few, if any, will see aging much differently than ZiPS. No matter how good the judge is, the only sure thing about his performance in five years is that he will turn 36. She defeats all her opponents. Stars are aging just like everyone else, they are just starting from a higher plateau. Here are the top 50 WAR seasons for players aged 29 to 31, and how they did over the next eight years:

The most important WAR seasons at ages 29, 30 and 31

season player war the next five the next eight Next 10
1924 Babe Ruth 12.5 47.0 76.9 88.8
1996 Barry Bonds 9.2 40.8 75.6 79.5
1903 Honor Wagner 8.4 50.4 73.3 84.8
1926 Babe Ruth 12.0 52.6 73.2 73.4
1904 Honor Wagner 9.0 51.1 72.8 79.3
1960 Willie Miss 8.3 49.7 69.0 76.7
1905 Honor Wagner 10.8 46.5 65.0 74.0
1962 Willie Miss 10.5 43.5 57.9 65.6
1963 Hank Aaron 8.4 35.7 55.6 65.1
1904 Lajoie . nap 8.8 32.3 48.6 53.1
1980 Mike Schmidt 9.0 34.2 48.1 47.6
1948 Ted Williams 8.5 23.9 45.7 59.9
1949 Ted Williams 9.9 22.4 45.5 50.0
1973 Joe Morgan 9.5 36.4 45.3 54.0
1917 Thai cup 11.5 28.4 44.1 49.8
1951 music booth 8.6 33.2 43.7 47.7
1925 Rogers Hornsby 10.8 35.5 42.0 42.2
1974 Joe Morgan 8.6 30.4 41.9 46.7
1906 Lajoie . nap 9.4 31.8 40.8 41.5
1949 Jackie Robinson 9.6 33.3 39.3 39.3
1987 Wade Boggs 8.9 27.8 39.3 44.4
1934 Charlie Geringer 8.5 32.3 37.0 37.0
2022 Aaron Judge 11.3 29.9 35.4 35.2
1975 Joe Morgan 11.0 23.4 34.4 35.7
2005 Alex Rodriguez 9.1 27.3 34.4 37.1
1989 Ricky Henderson 8.4 27.2 33.8 37.8
1988 Wade Boggs 8.7 22.4 33.7 37.1
1938 miles out 8.7 24.6 33.6 33.5
1997 Larry Walker 9.1 24.6 32.8 32.8
1934 Lou Gehrig 10.7 31.5 31.5 31.5
1970 Karl Jastrzemsky 8.9 18.2 28.9 32.0
1927 Rogers Hornsby 10.4 25.8 27.2 27.3
1961 Mickey Mantle 10.3 20.6 27.1 27.1
1991 Cal Ripken 10.6 19.9 26.0 26.8
1990 Ricky Henderson 10.2 19.6 25.5 28.1
2015 Josh Donaldson 8.7 19.2 24.0 24.0
2007 Alex Rodriguez 9.6 20.4 23.7 22.6
1997 Craig Biggio 9.3 17.6 23.6 23.7
2004 Scott Rollin 9.0 15.8 22.3 22.3
2001 Jason Giambi 9.2 18.8 21.9 22.9
1977 Rod Karoo 8.6 16.6 19.9 19.9
1899 Ed Delahanti 8.4 18.1 18.1 18.1
1938 Jamie Foxx 8.3 17.7 18.0 18.0
2009 Albert Pujols 8.4 17.2 17.7 16.6
2013 Miguel Cabrera 8.6 15.0 14.2 13.0
1906 George Stone 8.9 12.5 12.5 12.5
2010 Josh Hamilton 8.4 11.7 11.7 11.7
1953 Al Rosen 9.1 9.3 9.3 9.3
1948 Lou Boudreau 10.9 6.1 6.1 6.1
1922 George Sisler 8.3 3.3 5.4 5.4

ZiPS isn’t particularly harsh when it comes to guessing the judge’s aging, which essentially puts him in the middle of a group of inner Hall of Famers. Based on these projections, it’s hard to see that the judge is getting more than $300 million.

But before we go, there is another factor we should keep in mind Do The judge helped a case, and this is Mets owner Steve Cohen. The stingy nature of the owners hasn’t prevented Cohen yet, and while he hasn’t been outspoken, hints about the team’s paycheck reaching anywhere from the 300 million dollars to me 345 million dollars. This leaves room for the Mets to engage in a bidding war over the judges, and I doubt the idea of ​​signing a crosstown competitor’s MVP winner makes that a possibility less Lure.

Whatever things change, Judge’s gamble will pay off well. Instead of fighting over who deserves an AL MVP, I implore you to save the fray for cold weather and enjoy the final chapter of one of the greatest offensive seasons in baseball history.