Aaron Judge He’s betting a lot on himself, again — this time by going to a judging session with the New York Yankees starting at noon on Friday rather than agreeing to a settlement.
On the eve of this season, Judge turned down a $213.5 million offer from the Yankees, choosing instead to leave open the possibility of becoming a free agent this fall. Now, in the midst of the best season of his career and with the arbitration case looming, the judge has taken a similar approach with his 2022 salary. According to sources, the Yankees have offered to settle in the middle of the road – $19 million. But the judge refused, aiming instead for an arbitration victory that officials in both management and union believe will change the players’ financial landscape in the near future.
Arbitration cases are usually adjudicated during the holiday period, with players and teams proposing salaries in January and taking those numbers to a hearing in February. But the sport’s recent off-season calendar has been obliterated by the owners’ shutdown of players, and thus arbitration cases have extended into this season.
Due to the unusual timing of the hearings this year, no evidence created after the start of the 2022 season can be presented by the Yankees or the judge’s representatives; The three-person panel could not consider any productions this year. This judge is on course to become the first player in more than two decades to hit 60, have an OPS of over 1.000 this year and likely be the top candidate for AL MVP, presumably irrelevant to the arguments, which are expected to go anywhere Four to five hours over Zoom, with the judge in attendance online.
Prior to the COVID pandemic, hearings with all principles took place in the same room – club officials, the player, his representatives and the referees – and cases were often settled through informal conversations either before proceedings or during breaks. But that kind of side-by-side dialogue can’t happen in this setting.
The arbitrators are also not supposed to take into account the relative success or failure of either administration or the union in the 2022 cases — although in past years, officials on both sides have suspected that the overall numbers had at least some influence on decisions. According to the Associated Press, teams have won nine of the 13 cases so far this year.
Judge, 30, was paid a pro-rata salary based on the Yankees’ $17 million bid. If he succeeds in the case and pays $21 million for this year, the team will be obligated to make its late payments — so far, a $1.65 million backlog.
The judge’s injury history greatly complicates his case. When he was on the field, he was one of the top players for the big teams. In his first full season of 2017, he played 155 games, hit 52 wreckers, scored 128 points, won the AL Rookie of the Year and finished second on the Astros. Jose Altove In the MVP vote.
But the judge missed 142 games in the 2018-2020 seasons, with a host of injuries. Playing 148 games in 2021, Judge is back on top, placing fourth in the AL MVP vote.
The judge came close to minimum wage in his first three full seasons in the majors, and first through judging in 2020, his salary was pegged at $8.5 million (though he didn’t earn nearly that amount, with an MLB season set at 60 COVID Games). The judge’s salary was $10.175 million in 2021, and the Yankees have offered a raise of about $7 million this year. The judge’s side proposed a salary more than double what he had last year.
If the judge wins, it will be seen as a major victory for the players’ union due to how it affects the future cases of players who have lost significant time to injury.
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