Aaron Judge Is Having A Season For The Ages
Aaron Judge is having a season for the ages for the New York Yankees. He tied Roger Maris' American League Home Run record and now will look to cash in during the off-season with a new free agent contract. A.J. Reilly breaks down what he thinks he may get and how his home run record and potential Triple Crown will factor into his payday.
So let's jump right into history being made.
On Wednesday night, I told you that we're gonna keep talking about this because it's something worth talking about. Now, 61 may seem like a number, but it is a standard when it comes to baseball. It is the standard when it comes to American League home runs specifically. And on Wednesday, September 28th with a line drive bullet to the left-center field, Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris.
61 years after Roger Maris hit 61, Aaron Judge did the same thing and became the co-all-time leader in the American League. Now, some don't get too hung up on league leaders when it comes to home runs, and some have argued. Even Roger's son, Roger Maris Jr. Has argued that if Judge hit 62, that should be the home run record.
Now, we've discussed on here Barry Bonds has the home run record at 73 steroids or no steroids. He hit 73 home runs. I'm not here to debate that, but I'm here to give you a little history lesson on 61 and why it is so important. In 1961, that year, specifically, baseball expanded from 54 games to 162 game schedule, which led to controversy for Roger Maris because.
They thought that if he broke, Babe Ruth‘s record, who was the standard bearer for home run hitters in more games than Babe had, well then that's not fair, and we know the story, right? For 30 years, there was an asterisk placed next to Roger Maris' 61, and in 1991 that finally came down five years after Maris' death.
To get technical on you, Judge hit his 61st home run in the hundred and 55th games. So technically Babe's Record still kind of stands in a way, right? He's the only person in 154 games to hit 60 home runs, which in an article that will be published on DSN by yours truly later, was more than every team in 1927 all but three.
The Cubs, the Cardinals, and the New York Giants, as well as obviously the New York Yankees all, had over 60 home runs that season. Every other team in the league did not, He was out Homering baseball clubs at that time. But we love home runs, but home runs are only part of this story for Aaron Judge, because he's currently on pace to win the Triple Crown, as we've mentioned before, which would, in essence, be a huge, monumental, historic moment because the last person, the person to have the most home runs in a Triple Crown season is Mickey Mantle in 1956 who hit 52.
So judge, not only is tying and potentially. Or going to break the American League Home Run record. But if he wins the Triple Crown, he will also be in a class all by himself as far as Triple Crown winners go and he's doing something special. Bob Nightingale on Twitter last night asked how much of a peer hitter has Aaron Judge become.
Well, when he hit 52 home runs in 2017, he had 54 more strikeouts than hits. This season, he has five fewer strikeouts than hits right now. It's important to note that Aaron Judge is not just an all-or-nothing guy. He's got a 314 average. He's driven in 130 runs on the season so far. And he leads the American League, in average home runs and RBIs in the three triple crown categories.
Whether you value those stats or not, it's still an important accomplishment. And he's also a free agent at the end of the season, so, but for as great as he's been, it's going to be, and you're gonna be very hard pressed to find teams that pay him for an MVP season that he. that wasn't for them if that makes any sense.
Judge is gonna be 31 when he comes up to spring training. April 26th, I believe is his birthday. He's going to be looking for a payday and he's gonna be looking for a lengthy payday. Bryan Dobzanski from fan grafts. He kind of projected this out according to zips, and he said that according to zips it would give him a, a projection of like a seven to eight year at 280 to 290 million, which when I was thinking about, okay, you know, I know that there was an article written from DSN of what it would cost to bring the judge to Detroit.
You gotta get creative because you're not gonna offer him a 10-year contract. You're not gonna pay him till you're 41. You've already done that with Miguel Cabrera. Now, Dobzanski will say that the projections for zips are actually more favorable to judge than they were for Albert Pujols or Cabrera when they signed their major deals.
But they're still not 61 home runs worth of projections. Okay. My thought is if you wanna bring Judge into a team, you sign him to a five-year deal that potentially could turn into eight years with the total money. If he makes the eight years being 300 million, that gives him an average annual value of 37 and a half million dollars.
The first five years are fully guaranteed to pay 'em until they 36 in the year. Make it a mutual option between the club and the player. If he wants to test free agency one more time, let him test it. If not, then he plays in the sixth year for year seven and year eight. You give him vesting options for benchmarks throughout the season that will make his contract best for year seven and then, Make it vest for year eight.
Now the numbers can be fudged, but basically what you're getting is a guy on an eight-year contract for 37 and a half million dollars, which would be team friendly. And we know that the contracts have kind of been screwed up with the way that KA assigned his in the off-season. But if the Tigers are gonna make some kind of play, it's gonna have to get creative in that sense because you cannot sign a guy like this for 10 years.
It's gotta be five to pay only once, average annual salary. That doesn't matter. Front-load it back, load it, it doesn't matter. But you gotta get creative and you gotta find a way to get out of the bad contracts at the end of them if they aren't working out for you, not fully guaranteed. Now that's gonna be difficult and it's gonna be a hard sell, but it could be something that potentially could happen.
Aaron Judges having a great season. Will he hit 61 or has he already hit 61? Will he hit 62? I mean, the Odds are that he's gonna get there with about seven games left to play. I gotta imagine he's gonna hit at least one home run. And last week I even projected that he'd end up at like 65 home runs. So it's going to be interesting to see and is definitely a storyline that I'm going to continually be following.
I stayed up last night to just see if he hit 62 in his final at-bat, but he didn't. And that's okay because at some point he's going to, and it's going to be fun to watch.