NEW YORK — Aaron Judge arrived at the Players’ Association office in Manhattan for his payroll arbitration hearing Friday noon.
“I don’t know who picked that, but kind of bad timing,” he said. “We were logged in, ready to go. All dressed.”
His hearing never started.
At 12:45 p.m., the star outfielder and the New York Yankees agreed to a one-year, $19 million deal, a deal that leaves the hitter on the way, post-World Series a free agent, according to multiple reports confirmed by ESPN to become .
Judge’s deal was struck right between the $21 million he was asking for and the $17 million the Yankees offered when the numbers were traded March 22.
“I was glad we could agree on a number and settle this matter and not have to go to court there,” the judge said after Friday night’s 3-1 loss to Houston. “If I had gone into that room I probably would have missed tonight’s game and I didn’t really enjoy that. I really appreciated playing this game with my teammates tonight and trying to fight it out.”
Talks of a long-term deal were called off on opening day. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team offered an eight-year contract worth between $230.5 million and $234.5 million, the difference being the gap in this year’s proposed salary.
The judge’s representatives wanted a nine-year contract that exceeded the average annual contract value of Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout, which was reportedly $319.6 million.
A long-term deal was not discussed this week.
“That’s when the season is over,” Judge said.
Teammates were glad the judge avoided a hearing.
“It’s not good to go in that room,” pitcher Luis Severino said, explaining the session would have forced Judge to hear the Yankees say, “why you’re not worth it, why you’re not worth 20-something million dollars.” .”
Judge is in the middle of what may be his best season, hitting .299 with 27 homers and 53 RBIs in the major leagues in 68 games. En route to his fourth All-Star selection in seven big league seasons, he hit a winning singles from behind in a 7-6 win over defending American League champions Houston on Thursday night.
Judge helped lead the Yankees to a 52-19 major league record. He has also transitioned from right field to the Yankees’ primary midfielder.
Aside from contract and salary comparisons, no statistics or evidence was admissible after March 1, the time set when Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association approved the deal that ended the lockout.
Judge batted .287 with 39 homers and 98 RBIs last season.
“Excited that this is behind us and that we can leave this part of the show alone,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone.
Now the teammates are looking forward to his next deal.
“At least we have him this year,” said Severino, “and next year we can hopefully sign him again.”
The terms of the judge’s settlement with the Yankees were first reported by the New York Post.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34143027/sources-aaron-judge-settles-new-york-yankees-avoids-arbitration Aaron Judge settles with New York Yankees ahead of arbitration hearing, says there were no talks of long-term deal this week