Aaron Judge rejects a $19 million settlement offer from the New York Yankees and seeks victory in arbitration


Aaron Judge rejects a $19 million settlement offer from the New York Yankees and seeks victory in arbitration

Aaron Judge is once again betting heavily on himself — this time by going to an arbitration hearing with the New York Yankees, which begins Friday noon, rather than agreeing to a settlement.

On the eve of this season, Judge turned down a $213.5 million contract offer from the Yankees, instead leaving open the possibility that he could become a free agent this fall. Now, in the midst of the best season of his career and with the arbitration process looming, Judge has taken a similar approach with his 2022 salary. According to sources, the Yankees offered to settle in the middle – $ 19 million. But Judge declined, instead seeking an arbitration victory that officials from both management and the union believe will change the financial landscape for players in the near future.

Arbitrations are typically decided during the off-season, with players and teams proposing salaries in January and bringing those numbers to a hearing in February. But the sport’s recent offseason calendar was wiped out by the owners’ lockout of players, and so the arbitrations have expanded into this season.

Given the unusual timing of this year’s hearings, evidence produced after the start of the 2022 season cannot be presented by either the Yankees or the judge’s representatives. the three-person committee cannot consider any production from this year. That Judge is on course to become the first player in more than two decades to hit 60 homers, have an OPS over 1,000 this year, and be the likely front-runner for AL MVP is said to be irrelevant in the arguments that They are expected to last between four and five hours via Zoom, with the judge present online.

Before the COVID pandemic, hearings were held with all principles in the same room – club officials, the player and his representatives, the referees – and often cases were settled through informal discussions either before proceedings or during breaks. But this kind of side-by-side dialogue cannot take place in this environment.

Arbitrators are also not supposed to consider the relative success or failure of management or the union in the 2022 cases — although officials on both sides have suggested in years past that the totals had at least some bearing on the decisions. Teams have won nine of the 13 cases so far this year, according to the AP.

The 30-year-old judge was paid a prorated salary based on the Yankees’ $17 million offer. If he were to win the case and receive $21 million this year, the team would be obligated to pay him back the arrears — a total of $1.65 million to date.

The judge’s injury history complicates his case significantly. When he was on the field, he was one of the best players in the majors. In his first full season in 2017, he played 155 games and hit 52 home runs, hit 128 runs, won AL Rookie of the Year and finished second to the Astros’ Jose Altuve in MVP voting.

But Judge missed 142 games in the 2018-2020 season with a series of injuries. With 148 games in 2021, Judge returned to supremacy, finishing fourth in AL MVP voting.

The judge made nearly minimum wage in his first three full seasons with the majors, and on his first pass through arbitration in 2020, his salary was set at $8.5 million (although he wasn’t making nearly that much, since the MLB season was limited to 60 games due to COVID). The judge’s salary was $10.175 million in 2021, and the Yankees offered a nearly $7 million raise that year. The judge’s side proposed a salary more than double what it was last year.

If the referee wins it will be considered a great victory for the players’ association as it could impact future cases of players losing significant time through injury.

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