Aaron Judge may be the best hitter in baseball right now.
The New York Yankees slugger is hitting .304 with 27 home runs, 53 RBI, and a 1.037 OPS.
He’s healthy and has returned to his 2017 Rookie of the Year form.
Lately though, the talk of the town in New York has been his arbitration hearing, which ultimately took place today.
Judge and the Yankees came to an agreement on a $19 million deal for the 2022 season.
Judge initially wanted $21 million, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, who pointed out on Twitter that Judge added a few incentives for his deal, and in doing so found a loophole in salary negotiations.
A reminder about Aaron Judge’s arbitration hearing: none of his 2022 season can be used in the hearing. So while he’s the clear AL MVP frontrunner this season, only his performance through 2021 can be used. Judge seeking $21M for 2022, while the Yankees filed at $17M.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) June 24, 2022
Judge’s Negotiation Tactics Pay Off
Judge is a smart man.
He found a way to get what he wanted while also keeping the Yankees content.
Of course, for these incentives to kick in, he has to win AL MVP or win World Series MVP.
But the thing about this case is that his 2022 stats could not be used in the hearing.
The Yankees and Judge were only about $4 million apart in the negotiations and they ultimately settled, but Judge was smart to add these extra incentives.
This gives him a chance to earn the money he wants to earn.
The incentives will in a way account for his play this season as he will earn $250K if he wins the American League MVP Award, and an additional $250K if he ends up being World Series MVP, this of course depending on if the Yankees win a title.
Judge found a loophole and now has a chance to get the money he desired for this season.
If he stays hot, he’ll at least find a way to get some of that money.