The New York Yankees saw their 2023 payroll balloon to over $200 million on Wednesday with the reported re-signing of superstar outfielder Aaron Judge.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that Judge and the Yankees came to terms on a nine-year, $360 million contract, meaning Judge will make an average of $40 million per season over the life of the deal.
Prior to the reported Judge signing, Spotrac listed the Yankees' 2023 payroll at $162,085,714. The Judge signing will bring it up to $202,085,714.
News of Judge returning to the Bronx Bombers came one day after Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported that Judge had signed with the San Francisco Giants, only to retract it.
The 30-year-old Judge is coming off one of the most prolific seasons in MLB history, as he set a new American League single-season record with 62 home runs, surpassing the previous record of 61 set by Roger Maris in 1961.
In addition to leading MLB in home runs, he led the AL in RBI (131) and runs scored (133). He also stole a career-high 16 bases and hit a career-best .311, which was second in the AL, leaving him just short of the Triple Crown.
Judge's new contract is tied for the second-biggest in MLB history in terms of total dollars with Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, behind only the 12-year, $365 million deal Mookie Betts signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
His $40 million average annual salary is also the highest in MLB history among position players.
While it is a hefty price to pay and a long commitment to make to a player already in his 30s, there is no denying that Judge was the centerpiece of the Yankees offense last season and the primary reason why they went 99-63, won the AL East and reached the American League Championship Series.
Judge shoots to the top of the list in terms of the Yankees' highest-paid players annually, ahead of pitcher Gerrit Cole ($36 million) and slugger Giancarlo Stanton ($32 million).
New York also re-signed first baseman Anthony Rizzo to a two-year, $40 million contract this offseason.
To this point, the Yanks are largely set to return the same roster they had last season, with the exception of some potential call-ups from their talented prospect pool.
There are still plenty of quality players available in free agency, however, meaning the Judge signing may just be the start of what they plan to do on the open market.