MLB sources reportedly predict superstar outfielder Aaron Judge will re-sign with the New York Yankees as a free agent following the 2022 season.
Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported Thursday rival executives expect the Yanks will "pay the freight," which is projected at around $300 million or "somewhere in that area:"
New York Post Sports @nypostsports
"The prevailing thought from people outside of the organization is that he is more likely than not to remain a Yankee"<br><br>🎥 <a href="https://twitter.com/JonHeyman?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JonHeyman</a> discusses what Aaron Judge's free agency will look like, how involved the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Mets?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Mets</a> will be in their pursuit, and his <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Yankees?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Yankees</a> expectations in Game 2 <a href="https://t.co/zM3umMbWwa">pic.twitter.com/zM3umMbWwa</a>
Somebody is going to pay Judge a massive amount of money after a campaign where he set the American League record with 62 home runs, and there may be a riot in the Bronx if it's not the Yankees who step up to get the deal done.
The four-time All-Star's pursuit of history was impressive on multiple fronts.
Most notably, as Judge was hunting his 62nd homer, he was also in hot pursuit of the AL Triple Crown, ultimately falling five batting average points (.311 to the Minnesota Twins' Luis Arraez's .316) short of becoming just the second Triple Crown winner since 1967.
The 30-year-old California native also finished with 16 more longballs than anybody else in baseball. The Philadelphia Phillies' Kyle Schwarber was next on the list at 46. So it wasn't like the steroid or juiced-ball eras where everyone was teeing off. He dominated the power category alone.
Judge has steered clear of contract talk for most of the year, but in April he signaled a business-like approach to free agency after extension talks with New York fell short.
"Very few people get this opportunity to talk extension. Me getting this opportunity is something special and I appreciate the Yankees wanting to do that," Judge told reporters. "But I don't mind going into free agency. It is what it is."
He added: "At the end of this year, I'll talk to 30 teams. The Yankees will be one of those teams."
Yanks general manager Brian Cashman didn't shy away from the fact that Judge put himself in line for a monster payday with his standout season.
"There's a pot of gold there," Cashman said Sunday. "It's yet to be determined what the gold—how much it weighs—but it's a pot of gold, no doubt about it. So good for him. It was already a big pot and, obviously, it'll be bigger."
For now, the Yankees are focused on trying to chase down the franchise's 28th World Series title. They hold a 1-0 lead in their Divisional Series matchup with the Cleveland Guardians. Game 2 is set for Friday afternoon following a rainout Thursday.
Whenever the club's playoff run ends, with a championship or shy of that ultimate goal, the concentration will immediately shift to keeping Judge in New York for the long haul.