The winning bid for Aaron Judge will likely require a nine-year contract offer, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
As the winter meetings begin this weekend, Judge’s market is materializing. Judge, 30, is hitting free agency after breaking the all-time American League record with 62 home runs.
A nine-year deal would take Judge through his age-39 season. Judge met with the Giants during the week of Thanksgiving, and although Rosenthal reported other clubs are in the mix, New York and San Francisco are the frontrunners to land the outfielder.
Before Judge’s historic season, the Yankees offered him a seven-year, $213.5 million extension. Judge scoffed at that and turned in the greatest walk year of all time. Judge led MLB in runs, RBI, home runs, OPS and on-base percentage. His OPS+ of 211 signals that he was more than twice as productive as an average hitter.
ESPN reported that New York recently made a new offer to Judge in the range of eight years, $300 million. That annual average value of $37.5 million would be the highest ever for a position player.
A nine year offer, based on that framework, could rise to about $320 million.
The Giants’ 2023 payroll is currently about $100 million shy of the luxury tax threshold. Only Anthony DeSclafani, Alex Cobb and Wilmer Flores are under contract beyond this season.
In their franchise history, the Giants have only doled out one contract close to nine years: Buster Posey’s eight-year, $159 million extension.
The eclipse of longterm financial flexibility, positional need, fanbase lust and Judge’s northern California background make the two a natural fit. Wherever Judge decides to go, his deal could very well last for the rest of his career.