It’s hard to believe, but reigning American League Rookie of the Year and the runner up to the MVP award Aaron Judge will only make $622,000 in 2018. The New York Yankees signed their slugger to a new deal that won’t make him salary arbitration eligible until after the 2019 season.
“Under MLB’s collective bargaining agreement, players who have less than three full years of service time have their salary determined by the team,” writes Adam Wells of Bleacher Report.
“After a player’s third season, assuming no long-term contract has been signed, they become eligible for arbitration and will exchange salary demands with their team. They can either agree to a deal or will have a hearing where an independent arbitrator will rule in favor of the player or team.”
You can read the guidelines for salary arbitration from MLB.com here.
The 25-year-old right-hander was drafted in the first round of the 2013 MLB draft. After making his MLB debut in 2016 and hitting a home run in his first career at bat, Judge went on to have a record-breaking rookie season in 2017. He was named an All-Star and won the Home Run Derby, the first rookie to do so. Judge ended the season with 52 home runs, breaking Mark McGwire’s MLB rookie record of 49 and the Yankees’ full-season rookie record, previously held by Joe DiMaggio with 29.
He also hit 33 home runs at Yankee Stadium, breaking the record of 32 set by Babe Ruth in 1921, and set the record for most walks in a rookie season with 127. He won the American League’s (AL) Rookie of the Month Awards for April, May, June and September, as well as the AL’s Player of the Month Award for June and September.
The New York Yankees added more power to the middle of their lineup when the team traded Starlin Castro and minor leaguers to the Miami Marlins for reigning National League MVP, Giancarlo Stanton.
Per Wells, as part of Judge’s contract with the Yankees, his salary will be reduced to $272,250 if he is sent down to the minors.
The Yankees’ 2018 payroll is estimated at $162,490,757, per Spotrac. They are approximately $35 million under MLB’s competitive balance tax for this season.