Aaron Judge Gets $40 Million – Will Juan Soto Surpass That in an Extension or Will the Yankees Look Another Way?

Published 12/09/2023, 8:30 AM EST

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Juan Soto’s coming to the New York Yankees doesn’t mean the conclusion of inquiries concerning his future. Even after a blockbuster trade, Soto’s future still worries Bronx fans for one reason: his impending free agency. Though this trade gives the Yankees a headstart over the rest when it comes to negotiations, there is no guarantee that the slugger will stick with them upon attaining free agency following the 2024 season.

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The Childish Bambino has already rejected a contract worth $440 million with the Washington Nationals back in 2022. Being the client of super agent Scott Boras, it’s obvious that Soto will expect nothing less than a massive contract. With his eyes possibly on an unthinkable amount, how will the Yankees manage to pay it? Will it mean that in just 2 years, Aaron Judge will become No. 2 on the Bronx payroll?

Insiders are divided on the Juan Soto free agency situation

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Most insiders know that Soto will command a huge contract. But the fact that Shohei Ohtani’s contract may reset the market affects their predictions. So, to know how differently the market will work next year is quite difficult. But they’ve still tried.

For instance, The Athletic’s Tim Britton predicted that Soto could get a deal worth $540 million for 15 years. The AAV of such a deal would be $36 million, and Soto is set to earn almost $33  via his final season of salary arbitration. This implies that he will accumulate a total exceeding $80 million prior to reaching free agency. Hence, that prediction does seem reasonable, but it won’t be a surprise if the slugger expects over $40 million AAV, thereby potentially placing Aaron Judge in the second position next year.

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This is what Michael Kay hinted at in his podcast (17:15 onwards) where he said – “And the Yankees will have to consider something, Soto comes in and all of a sudden you have to pay $45-50 million a year and your captain’s making a 40…You say what difference does it make, it does to the players, there’s egos involved.”  That’s a big question for the Yankees. Do they want to pay him more than Aaron Judge?

Though it isn’t something that they haven’t done before. Notably, Alex Rodriguez earned more than the captain Derek Jeter. That brings another question: do the Yankees want to do it in Soto-Judge case?

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The New York Yankees’ intentions are unclear

Acquiring Soto through a trade signals the Bronx Squad’s interest, but the question remains: are they prepared to make a complete commitment? The team already far exceeds the taxation levels and has a plethora of high-earning players. They’ll have to manage their payroll incredibly if they want to add another $40 million per year of Soto to it.

They haven’t shown any intentions that they want to continue with Soto or not post 2024 season. The Yankees might be waiting to see how this pans out on the field in next season before making their decision.

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As it stands, Soto’s impending free agency is hanging above everyone like a sword.

Watch This Story: Yankees Secure A Special Gift As The Japanese Ace Makes His Way To Be A Free Agent

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Written by:

Sanskar Dubey

605Articles

One take at a time

“Rigidity leads to demise, while adaptability paves the path to vitality." Driven by a deep passion for sports, I’m glad I found baseball. Now serving as an MLB writer at EssentiallySports, I love to write about the thrilling tussle between the National League and American League throughout the season, although I may have a fondness for a particular Yankees icon named Alex Rodriguez.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj

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